Gironde, estuary, c.45 mi (70 km) long and from 2 to 7 mi (3.2–11.3 km) wide, formed by the Garonne and Dordogne rivers, which join c.14 mi (23 km) N of Bordeaux. Sand banks and a high tidal range hamper navigation; oceangoing vessels ascend to Bordeaux and Libourne. The Bordeaux industrial region extends along the Gironde's southern coast. Located between the Médoc and the Cotes vineyards, the Gironde is the great artery of the Bordeaux wine region.
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