rochon has got it all. Well, except for an appellation of its own. The vineyards produce Bourgogne, Côte de Nuits-Villages, Gevrey-Chambertin and even some Fixin, but no Brochon. As with Marsannay Brochon suffered from the competition from the south when the railway came in the late 19th century. Back then much of Brochon's vineyards were planted with high-yielding gamay. Since they couldn't compete with the cheap wines from the south the growers chose to go for pinot noir instead. By 1925 most of the vineyards had been replanted.

It is the southern half of the commune, the one bordering to Gevrey-Chambertin, that produces AOC Gevrey-Chambertin. The northern half, bordering to Fixin, produces Cote de Nuits-Villages, with a small parcel (94 ares) of Fixin premier cru, Clos de la Perrière, up in the northeast corner. Except for the small Fixin plot there is only regional and village level vines in Brochon. Cote de Nuits-Villages is an appellation available for wines from Brochon and Fixin, as well as Premeaux-Prissey, Comblanchien and Corgoloin further down the Côte d'Or.

Brochon is the home of l'Ami du Chambertin, one of my absolute favourites among French cheeses. It was fromager Raymond Gaugry at Fromagerie Gaugry that in the late 1940's brought it to life. Today Fromagerie Gaugry is a large modern building right by the RN74. In addition to l'Ami du Chambertin they make another six cheeses, among them the AOC-classed Epoisses. The fromagerie is well worth a visit. There is a gallery so you can watch the production through large windows.  I can't say I envy the people working here, being on display all the time. At the end of the gallery is a shop, which sells both the Gaugry cheeses and a large number of cheeses from elsewhere in France, as well as a large number of other regional products.

Then cross the RN74 and drive westwards on Avenue Charles de Gaulle. This is where the main part of Brochon is. In the middle of the village is a large park with the Château Stephen Liégeard, one of the most recent chateaux in France. It was built by poet/writer Stephen Liégeard in 1895 to 1902. Today most of his work has been forgotten. Except for one thing. It was he who coined the phrase La Côte d'Azur in 1887, referring to the French Riviera. In 1953 the chateau was left to the French government and nine years later l'Éducation Nationale built modern facilities on the grounds of the château, creating Lycée Stephen Liégeard. The park surrounding the château covers 5 ha and the main attraction is undoubtedly the rose garden with its 640 varieties.

© 2013 Ola Bergman