Le Mont Brouilly is a strikingly beautiful (and thankfully dormant!) volcano, a landmark visible from much of the Beaujolais countryside, home to the appellations of Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly.
The name originates from Brulius, a Roman Lieutenant who settled here. Vines have been grown and wine made here since the 4th century; today, the Brouilly vineyards are planted on the lower blue granite slopes of Le Mont Brouilly. The summit is crowned by a chapel which is illuminated at night.
The Brouilly appellation - the most southerly and largest Cru - has a large number of producers in the villages of Odenas, Charentay, Cercié, Quincié, Saint-Lager, and Saint-Etienne-la-Varenne, and the soil characteristics vary somewhat through it, meaning that the style of wines also varies. However all good Brouilly should be full of grapey fruit, with good depth of purple colour.
Further up the hillside are the vineyards of the appellation Côte de Brouilly; there is more sun here, and the wine is somewhat fuller and fruitier than Brouilly, has slightly more alcohol and a perfume including violets and raspberries.
The wines from these parts are very flexible, and are equally at home chilled for summer drinking, or as serious companions for good food.
Legend says Le Mont Brouilly was created by the giant Gargantua, hurling large rocks following a drinking bout one evening.