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A 75-kilometre-long and 5 to 15-kilometre-wide estuary in southwest France that flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The department of Gironde, mostly on the left bank, is named after the Gironde; opposite it on the right bank is the department of Charente-Maritime. It is formed by the two rivers Dordogne and Garonne. With a surface area of 685 km², the Gironde is the largest estuary in Europe. The Gironde begins at the Bec d'Ambes peninsula formed by the two rivers, about 15 kilometres north of the city of Bordeaux.

Garonne - Zusammenfluss Garonne mit Dordogne am Bec d´Ambes

Confluence of the Dordogne and Garonne at Bec d'Ambès

The picture shows the confluence of the Dordogne and Garonne rivers at the tapered Bec d'Ambès. The entire length of the left bank is covered by the Médoc area, which is ideally suited for viticulture due to the permeability of the gravel and pebble soil. The best crus (sites) are those that "see the water" (bordering the Gironde), because the sunlight is reflected by the large surface of the water. The retention of heat results in very good conditions for optimal grape ripening. The six famous communal appellations of the Haut-Médoc are located here. These are Margaux, Moulis, Listrac-Médoc, Pauillac, Saint-Estèphe and Saint-Julien.

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Dr. Christa Hanten

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