Château Ausone: Ancient History

Château Ausone is one of many estates in Bordeaux that bear the names of key historical figures, names that help to bring the history of this wine region to life. Château Calon-Ségur and Château Phélan-Ségur are classic examples, each providing the amateur Bordeaux historian the same clue. When the origin of Ségur is explored we eventually discover Nicolas-Alexandre de Ségur, otherwise known as the Prince de Vignes, who held sway over a vast estate that took in much of the Médoc.

Château Ausone

Château Talbot is another example, although here it is unusual, as there is no direct evidence that John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury and leader of the English army at the Battle of Castillon in 1453, ever owned vines in the commune of St Julien. There are few truly ancient examples, however, save for perhaps Château Figeac, which is purportedly named after a Roman, Figeacus, who lived there in the 2nd century (although I am not wholly convinced that the evidence for his existence is very strong). The evidence is a little more compelling (although again, far from cast-iron) when it comes to Château Ausone, which everyone agrees has been named for the Roman poet Decimius Magnus Ausonius (c.310 – c.395), who is credited with the first mention of wine and the vine in Bordeaux.

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