The history of Saint-Emilion begins in prehistoric times and it is a World Heritage site, with fascinating Romanesque churches and ruins stretching all along steep and narrow streets.

The Romans planted vineyards in what was to become Saint-Emilion as early as the 2nd century AD. In the 4th century, the Latin poet Ausonius lauded the fruit of the bountiful vine.

The town was named after the monk from the land of the menhirs, hermit Emilion, a traveling confessor, born in Vannes, who settled in a hermitage carved into the rock there in the 8th century. It was the monks who followed Emilion that started up the commercial wine production in the area.