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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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  • Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WW93
    4.4 85 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $79.99
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  • Quintessa  2016  Front Label
    Quintessa 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • JS98
    • RP97
    • JD96
    • D95
    • WS93
    • WW93
    4.7 70 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $199.99
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  • Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut Front Label
    Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut
    Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
    • WW92
    • JS92
    • WS90
    • W&S90
    4.4 1107 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $59.97
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    59 97
    59 97
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  • Bollinger Brut Special Cuvee Front Label
    Bollinger Brut Special Cuvee
    Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
    • D96
    • WW94
    • JD93
    • WS92
    • JS92
    • WE92
    • W&S91
    • RP91
    4.3 379 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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    79
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  • Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from California
    • WE90
    4.1 933 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    17
    14 99
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  • Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
    Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • D97
    • JS95
    • RP95
    • WS93
    • WE92
    4.3 160 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $54.99
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    75
    54 99
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  • Lemelson Thea's Select Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
    Lemelson Thea's Select Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS93
    • WE93
    • WS91
    4.1 350 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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    34
    26 99
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  • Hall Ellie's Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Hall Ellie's Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • V94
    • WW94
    • RP93
    4.1 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $74.99
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    85
    74 99
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  • Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WW93
    • WE92
    4.7 28 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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    69 99
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  • Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Les Baronnes Blanc 2019  Front Label
    Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Les Baronnes Blanc 2019
    Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, Loire, France
      4.2 58 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $26.99
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      26 99
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    • Avaline White Blend  Front Label
      Avaline White Blend
      Other White Blends from Penedes, Spain
      • WW91
      4.1 310 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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      19 99
      19 99
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    • Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
      Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir 2018
      Pinot Noir from California
      • WW90
      • WE90
      3.8 533 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $12.99
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      18
      12 99
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    • Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 2012  Front Label
      Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 2012
      Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
      • JS98
      • V98
      • WE98
      • RP97
      • WS97
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $289.99
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      289 99
      289 99
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    • Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2018  Front Label
      Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2018
      Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
      • RP97
      • D95
      • JD94
      4.9 9 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $89.99
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      89 99
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    • Hall Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
      Hall Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • RP97
      • WW96
      • WS96
      • JD95
      • WE94
      4.6 46 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $179.99
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      179 99
      179 99
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    • Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut (375ML half-bottle) Front Label
      Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut (375ML half-bottle)
      Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
      • WW92
      • JS92
      • WS90
      • W&S90
      4.5 161 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $34.97
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      34 97
      34 97
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    • Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
      Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017
      Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
      • JS92
      • WW90
      4.2 104 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $29.99
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      29 99
      29 99
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    • Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc 2019  Front Label
      Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc 2019
      Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
      • WS90
      4.2 319 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $21.99
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      28
      21 99
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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 85 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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      30
      19 99
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    • Cote des Roses Rose 2019  Front Label
      Cote des Roses Rose 2019
      Rosé from Languedoc, South of France, France
      • WW90
      4.0 781 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $14.99
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      20
      14 99
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    • Louis Roederer Brut Premier Front Label
      Louis Roederer Brut Premier
      Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
      • D94
      • JS93
      • W&S92
      • WS92
      • RP92
      • WW92
      • WE90
      • CG90
      4.3 161 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $49.99
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      54
      49 99
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    • Hahn Monterey Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
      Hahn Monterey Pinot Noir 2018
      Pinot Noir from Monterey, Central Coast, California
      • WW89
      3.9 228 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $13.99
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      15
      13 99
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    • Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2020  Front Label
      Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2020
      Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
      • JS92
      • V91
      4.6 19 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $42.99
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      42 99
      42 99
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    • Gerard Bertrand Chateau L'Hospitalet Grand Vin Rouge 2017  Front Label
      Gerard Bertrand Chateau L'Hospitalet Grand Vin Rouge 2017
      Rhone Red Blends from La Clape, Languedoc, South of France, France
      • WW91
      4.1 82 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $39.99
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      50
      39 99
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    • Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc 2020  Front Label
      Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc 2020
      Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $18.99
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        18 99
        18 99
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