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Ausone takes its name from the Roman poet Ausonius who owned over 100 acres of vineyard around Saint Emilion. It is said that he owned a grand villa in "Lucaniac" (the ancient name for the town), although whether it occupied the exact same location as the present vineyard is perhaps a romantic notion.
The vineyard itself covers just 7-hectares on a steep southeast-facing incline, three-quarters on the actual côte and the remainder atop the cellars around the church (you can just see the vines in the photo at the top of the page.) The soil is a mixture of limestone and clay, becoming sandier on the lower reaches where the grapes exhibit slightly lower acidity. It is planted with 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Franc with a planting density of around 6,500 vines per hectare. Since many vines escaped the devastating frosts of 1956, the average age is an impressive 45 to 50 years.