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Gironde Estuary

The Gironde Estuary is located in Southwestern France and is the primary body of water the impacts the Bordeaux Region of France. It opens on the Atlantic Ocean where the entrance is marked by the historic lighthouse of Cordouan. The Gironde is more than 80 kilometers in length and is formed where the Garonne River and the Dordogne River converge near Bourg. The Garonne River extends 360 miles and is formed to the Northeast in the Central Mountains of France. The Dordogne is nearly as long as the Garonne. It runs east and then south all the way to the Pyrenees Mountains that divide France and Spain.

The Medoc is located along the middle of the left (southern) bank of the Gironde. It is home to several of the most famous wines in the world. Within the Medoc are several famous wine producing communes (towns and evirions) including Pauillac, Margaux, Saint Estephe, Saint Julien, Listrac and Moulis.

If you move upstream from the Gironde estuary along the Garonne River you will find the treasured wine regions of Pomerol and Saint Emilion. These communes are north of the water in the area and suffer an earlier frost danger. In order to compensate for the shorter growing season, most vintners in the region have concentrated primarily on using Merlot rather than slower maturing Cabernet Sauvignon.