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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 90 Ratings
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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 1117 Ratings
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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
    4.3 385 Ratings
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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
    4.3 164 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $54.99
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  • Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from California
    • WE90
    4.1 942 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    17
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  • Cellier des Dauphins Reserve Cotes du Rhone 2018  Front Label
    Cellier des Dauphins Reserve Cotes du Rhone 2018
    Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
    • D97
    4.0 405 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $13.99
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    13 99
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  • Ziobaffa Organic Toscana 2015  Front Label
    Ziobaffa Organic Toscana 2015
    Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS90
    4.1 119 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $12.99
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    22
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  • Oyster Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2020  Front Label
    Oyster Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2020
    Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
      4.6 29 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $13.99
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    • Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
      Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay 2017
      Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
      • RP93
      • WW93
      • CG90
      4.4 54 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $41.99
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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 31 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $69.99
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    • Hahn SLH Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
      Hahn SLH Pinot Noir 2018
      Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
      • TP93
      • WE91
      • D91
      4.1 130 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $24.99
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      30
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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
      4.3 164 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $49.99
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    • J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
      J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
      • WE91
      • WW89
      4.2 195 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $15.99
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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 60 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $26.99
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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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      • Ziobaffa Organic Pinot Grigio 2019  Front Label
        Ziobaffa Organic Pinot Grigio 2019
        Pinot Gris/Grigio from Puglia, Italy
          4.2 182 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $12.99
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          12 99
          12 99
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        • Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
          Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
          • WW90
          4.1 23 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $54.99
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          65
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        • Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
          Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay 2018
          Chardonnay from Livermore Valley, Central Coast, California
          • WE91
          4.0 337 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $13.99
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          18
          13 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
          3.9 231 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $13.99
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          15
          13 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 47 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $179.99
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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 93 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $19.99
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          30
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        • Jansz Premium Rose Front Label
          Jansz Premium Rose
          Rosé Sparkling Wine from Tasmania, Australia
          • WW92
          • D92
          • WS91
          • JS91
          • W&S90
          4.3 115 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $27.99
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          27 99
          27 99
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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
          4.2 109 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $29.99
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          29 99
          29 99
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        • Avaline Red Blend  Front Label
          Avaline Red Blend
          Rhone Red Blends from Vin de France, France
          • WW89
          4.4 21 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $19.99
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          19 99
          19 99
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        • Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir 2019  Front Label
          Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir 2019
          Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
          • WE91
          4.2 58 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $22.99
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          24
          22 99
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