The fortunate hill : the terroir’s favours | Château Ausone
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Promontoire château Ausone

III. The fortunate hill

The terroir’s favours

Two thousand years of cultivation are ample proof that on the Ausone estate, nature concentrates its gifts in favour of wine. Here, the mildness of the weather has always beckoned wine growers.

Coteaux Ausone Saint-Emilion
On its rocky perch,
the chateau distributes its seven hectares (17 acres) of vines across small terraces. Surrounded by stone, these parcels are sheltered from the wind, while enjoying a perfect east south-east exposure. The very generous sunshine, together with the Dordogne and Isle rivers that meet nearby, concoct an ideal microclimate for the vines. Nature sees to it season after season that everything works together to ensure the growth of the finest fruit.

However, the wonderful alchemy of this place also takes place out of sight in the soil with its secrets.

A proportion of the vines grows on a plateau made up of asteriated limestone, where their roots seek out a modicum of energy in the rock. On the hill, the vines anchor themselves in limestone with clay soil, where the clay provides welcome moisture when drought conditions prevail. The two growth environments are as hospitable as the other. Ausone’s slopes accommodate the parcels and ripen the grapes with optimal balance.

Éolienne château Ausone
Gappe raisins château Ausone
The estate’s soils and weather couldn’t provide a more promising terroir. Even episodes of extreme weather hardly disturb the harmony that has become established here. The devastating winter frosts of 1892 or 1956 were no exception. While many estates were hard-hit by the freezing cold, Ausone’s vines enjoyed astonishing immunity.

However, this is nothing to brag about, because the lesson is clear: what nature offers here is good fortune, not entitlement.

III. A theatre of stone IV. The spirit and practices