Côte de Brouilly is a Beaujolais Cru appellation carved out of the hillsides of Mount Brouilly, a 1,585-foot-high extinct volcano. Côte de Brouilly has 720 acres of vineyards and, like virtually all of Beaujolais, the only grape grown is Gamay. Some 200,000 cases of wine are produced here annually. Because the vineyards rise up the slopes of Mont Brouilly, the grapes grown in this appellation mature more quickly and become sweeter than those of the Brouilly appellation around the mountain. Appellation regulations demand that Côte de Brouilly wines therefore have a slightly higher minimum alcohol content of 10.5% than the wines of Brouilly, which must have minimum levels of 10%.
The Gamay grape produces a light, versatile and food-friendly wine. It is best known for making Beaujolais Nouveau, but it is also grown in Loire and Tours. Thankfully the 14th C. Duke of Burgundy’s degree to ban the grape did not spread through all of France.