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Green / Sustainable Wine

Natural Wine, Organic & Sustainable Defined ...

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Wines marked with the green leaf icon are produced using organic, biodynamic or sustainable practices as certified by various domestic and international organizations. Any spirits marked with the green leaf have been made using sustainable methods designed to decrease their production impact on the environment.

Does the green leaf mean it is a natural wine?

Though it is a widely used term, “natural wine” is difficult to indisputably define. Other terms are almost as popular: “low intervention,” “live,” “raw,” and “green wine,” to name a few. Isabelle Legeron, Master of Wine, in her book, Natural Wine explains the term best.

“Whether or not it is certified (or indeed certifiable), natural wine does exist. It is wine from vineyards that are farmed organically, at the very least, and which is produced without adding or removing anything during vinification, apart from a dash of sulfites at bottling.”

While this definition may sound ideal to most, the USA defines “organic wine” differently. Read on for clarification.

What is the difference between organic wine and wine made from organic grapes?

Organic wine in the USA is regulated by the National Organic Program (NOP) of the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, in accordance with the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990. By definition, organic winegrowing integrates cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster the cycling of resources, promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering are not allowed. Products from outside of the cycle are used minimally. The USDA NOP allows for two categories of finished wine:

  1. Organic wine, as defined and labeled in the USA, is wine made from organic grapes with no added sulfites. Each country has its own laws on how to define organic wine. But any wine labeled “organic” sold in the USA, whether it is domestically made or imported, is not allowed to have any added sulfites. However, less than 20 mg/L can occur naturally.
  2. Wine made from organic grapes, which allows minimal addition of sulfites (less than 100 mg/L) cannot be labeled as “organic wine” in the USA, but can mention the use of organic grapes.

What is biodynamic wine?

Biodynamic wine is created from a system of winegrowing similar to that for organic wine, but includes various concepts from the ideas of Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925). Steiner’s farming methods treat soil fertility, plant growth and products, and livestock care and products as ecologically interrelated. Biodynamic agriculture uses compost and manure for fertilization, natural herb and mineral supplements for field sprays and prohibits the use of anything artificial. It treats the entire vineyard as an interrelated part of a self-sufficient farm. Biodynamic farming considers the influence of weather, seasons and movements of the moon and planets on the rhythms of the farm. The term “biodynamic” refers to both the agricultural methods used to grow the vines, as well as winery processing.

What does sustainable wine mean?

Sustainable wine production can be defined by three main goals: environmental stewardship, economic profitability and social and economic equity. This means that sustainable farmers do their best to give back to the environment and to the community, while also furthering their business. Sustainable wine growers may largely use organic or biodynamic practices, and occasionally or minimally use synthetic materials (only the least harmful), but have the flexibility to choose the methods that work best for their goals. The sustainable label tells the consumer which wines are made with ecological, economical and social principles in mind. Its limitation is that it is locally defined and therefore varies regionally.

What are sustainable spirits?

While regulations on the spirits side of sustainable are still in their infancy, that hasn’t stopped individual producers from taking heed of conscientious production techniques to reduce their carbon footprint. Distillers striving to make their operations more sustainable are implementing a wide array of eco-friendly procedures ranging from renewable power solutions, water and heat reclamation systems, utilizing locally sourced agricultural produce and composting or reusing any refuse as fertilizer or feed for livestock. In addition to optimizing the efficiency of the manufacturing process, eliminating harmful single use plastics and repurposing or recycling waste products such as barrels and bottles are also proving to be effective strategies for improving sustainability. All spirits labeled “organic” must meet the regulations provided by both Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and the USDA.

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  • Ziobaffa Organic Toscana 2016  Front Label
    Ziobaffa Organic Toscana 2016
    Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS90
    4.4 71 Ratings
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  • Laurent-Perrier La Cuvee Brut (375ML half-bottle) Front Label
    Laurent-Perrier La Cuvee Brut (375ML half-bottle)
    Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
    • JS93
    • WE90
    • WS90
    • W&S90
    • RP90
    4.3 97 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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  • Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Santa Margarita Ranch, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • WE93
    • TP93
    • WW90
    4.0 312 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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  • Radio-Coteau La Neblina Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Radio-Coteau La Neblina Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • V93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $58.99
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    58 99
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  • Two Paddocks Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Two Paddocks Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
    • WE94
    • V92
    • JS91
    3.1 6 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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  • Allan Scott Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2020  Front Label
    Allan Scott Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2020
    Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
    • WS92
    • WW92
    4.1 132 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $16.99
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  • Chateau Pontet-Canet (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020  Front Label
    Chateau Pontet-Canet (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • JS99
    • RP98
    • WE98
    • V97
    • D97
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $110.97
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    110 97
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  • Parducci True Grit Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Parducci True Grit Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendocino, California
    • WW90
    3.8 248 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    30
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  • Do Ferreiro Albarino 2018  Front Label
    Do Ferreiro Albarino 2018
    Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain
    • RP94
    3.6 40 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $28.99
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    28 99
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  • Chateau Minuty M Rose 2020  Front Label
    Chateau Minuty M Rose 2020
    Rosé from Cotes de Provence, Provence, South of France, France
    • WW90
    3.2 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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  • Cellier des Dauphins Les Dauphins Cuvee Speciale Rose 2020  Front Label
    Cellier des Dauphins Les Dauphins Cuvee Speciale Rose 2020
    Rosé from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
      4.4 37 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $13.99
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    • Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2019  Front Label
      Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2019
      Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
      • JS93
      • RP92
      • V92
      • WE90
      3.8 55 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $22.99
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      22 99
      22 99
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    • Louis Roederer Brut Premier Front Label
      Louis Roederer Brut Premier
      Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
      • D94
      • JS93
      • WE92
      • WS92
      • RP92
      • WW92
      • JD91
      • W&S90
      • CG90
      4.3 254 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $49.99
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      49 99
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    • St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc 2019  Front Label
      St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc 2019
      Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California
      • JS91
      • JD90
      4.1 54 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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      22
      19 99
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    • Tolaini Al Passo Toscana 2017  Front Label
      Tolaini Al Passo Toscana 2017
      Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
      • JS94
      • RP91
      4.2 28 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $31.99
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      31 99
      31 99
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    • Chateau Larose-Trintaudon  2016  Front Label
      Chateau Larose-Trintaudon 2016
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
      • JS92
      • WE91
      4.2 33 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $26.99
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      28 99
      26 99
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    • Jordan Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
      Jordan Chardonnay 2018
      Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
      • WW92
      • WE92
      4.3 21 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $41.99
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      41 99
      41 99
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    • J. Lohr Riverstone Chardonnay 2019  Front Label
      J. Lohr Riverstone Chardonnay 2019
      Chardonnay from Arroyo Seco, Monterey, Central Coast, California
      • WE90
      4.1 40 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $13.99
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      13 99
      13 99
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    • Bedrock Wine Company The Bedrock Heritage 2019  Front Label
      Bedrock Wine Company The Bedrock Heritage 2019
      Other Red Blends from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
      • WS94
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $49.99
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      49 99
      49 99
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    • Parducci Small Lot Chardonnay 2019  Front Label
      Parducci Small Lot Chardonnay 2019
      Chardonnay from Mendocino, California
      • WW89
      4.1 31 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $12.99
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      12 99
      12 99
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    • Ziobaffa Organic Pinot Grigio 2020  Front Label
      Ziobaffa Organic Pinot Grigio 2020
      Pinot Gris/Grigio from Puglia, Italy
        4.6 39 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $12.99
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        12 99
        12 99
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      • Cote des Roses Rose 2020  Front Label
        Cote des Roses Rose 2020
        Rosé from Languedoc, South of France, France
          4.1 60 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $18.99
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          18 99
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        • Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere  2016 Front Label
          Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere 2016
          Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
          • JS96
          • V96
          • WE95
          • WS95
          • RP95
          • JD95
          • D93
          • CG91
          4.7 28 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $109.99
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          109 99
          109 99
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        • Chateau Saint-Andre Corbin  2018  Front Label
          Chateau Saint-Andre Corbin 2018
          Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
          • JS92
          • WE90
          • WW90
          4.4 79 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $23.99
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          25
          23 99
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        • Clos Apalta Le Petit Clos Apalta 2017  Front Label
          Clos Apalta Le Petit Clos Apalta 2017
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
          • JS96
          • RP93
          4.5 19 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $44.99
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          44 99
          44 99
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