Stephen Brook finds out how the new generation of energetic young winemakers in Bordeaux is rising to the daily challenges of managing the top estates...
Bordeaux’s Pauline Vauthier of Chateau Ausone 1GCCA
Pauline Vauthier, in contrast, is one of Alain Vauthier’s four children, but the only one with a strong desire to be involved in the family estate, which is somewhat surprising when you consider it happens to be (premier grand cru clasé A) Château Ausone in St-Emilion.
You might expect Pauline Vauthier to be something of a princess. Instead you find someone who is altogether more self-effacing, though her self-confidence certainly seems to grow from year to year. She studied oenology and viticulture at the local college in Montagne St-Emilion, but isn’t a qualified oenologist.
‘I’m not very academic,’ says Pauline. ‘After my studies I went to South Africa to learn English, and when I returned, my father Alain said to me: “If you’re not going to study, you may as well get to work”.’ So at the age of 20 she started at Ausone. Today she controls all the production at the family estates in St-Emilion, but prefers vineyard to cellar work. ‘Cellar work is more technical and repetitive, whereas vineyards offer different challenges every year. We have 80ha in all, so there’s a lot to look after, but it’s all close to here.’