A chain of hills called the Plateau de Langres runs from north-east to south-west through the department to the north of Dijon and continues south-westwards as the Côte d'Or escarpment, which is named from the department's name. It is the south-east facing slope of the escarpment which is the site of the celebrated Burgundy vineyards. To the west of the Plateau de Langres, towards Champagne, lies the densely wooded district of Châtillonais. To the south-east of the plateau and escarpment, the department lies in the broad, flat-bottomed valley of the middle course of the Saône.
The climate of the department is temperate, with abundant rain on the west side of the central range.
There are coal mines and heavy industry, including steel, machinery, and earthenware. The industries most developed in Côte-d’Or are
The big works are generally in the conurbation of Dijon although biggest (CEA Valduc) is at Salives in the Plateau de Langres. There is also the SEB metal works at Selongey below the plateau on the margin of the Saône plain and the Valourec metalworking group at Montbard in the west of the départment on the River Brenne near its junction with the Armançon. The Pharmaceutical industry has shown the greatest growth in recent years. However, since the Dijon employment statistics zone includes the urban and administrative centre of the Burgundy region, the service sector is proportionately bigger there in relation to the industrial, than in the other three zones of Côte-d'Or.
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