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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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  • Vigilance Rose of Pinot Noir 2017 Front Label
    Vigilance Rose of Pinot Noir 2017
    Rosé from California
    • WE90
    3.4 45 Ratings
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  • Vigilance Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Front Label
    Vigilance Sauvignon Blanc 2018
    Sauvignon Blanc from Red Hills, Lake County, North Coast, California
    • WE91
    • WW90
    3.6 62 Ratings
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  • Vigilance Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Vigilance Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Red Hills, Lake County, North Coast, California
      4.0 10 Ratings
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    • Predator Old Vine Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
      Predator Old Vine Zinfandel 2017
      Zinfandel from Lodi, California
        4.1 29 Ratings
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      • Parducci True Grit Reserve Red Blend 2016 Front Label
        Parducci True Grit Reserve Red Blend 2016
        Other Red Blends from Mendocino, California
        • WE90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $18.99
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        30
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      • Folie a Deux Russian River Chardonnay 2017 Front Label
        Folie a Deux Russian River Chardonnay 2017
        Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
        • TP92
        3.9 26 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $11.99
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        18
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      • Di Majo Norante Sangiovese 2017  Front Label
        Di Majo Norante Sangiovese 2017
        Sangiovese from Italy
        • JS90
        3.9 52 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $9.99
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        15
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      • Parducci True Grit Reserve Petite Sirah 2016 Front Label
        Parducci True Grit Reserve Petite Sirah 2016
        Petite Sirah from Mendocino, California
        • WE90
        3.8 40 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $19.99
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        30
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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
          0.0 0 Ratings
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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-Roussillon, France
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $34.99
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            50
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          • Shannon Ridge High Elevation Petite Sirah 2018  Front Label
            Shannon Ridge High Elevation Petite Sirah 2018
            Petite Sirah from Lake County, North Coast, California
              3.3 11 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $15.99
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            • Shannon Ridge Buck Shack Red 2016 Front Label
              Shannon Ridge Buck Shack Red 2016
              Bordeaux Red Blends from Lake County, North Coast, California
              • WE91
              4.0 21 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $24.99
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              35
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            • Carmel Road North Crest Pinot Noir 2014 Front Label
              Carmel Road North Crest Pinot Noir 2014
              Pinot Noir from Arroyo Seco, Monterey, Central Coast, California
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $38.99
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                55
                38 99
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              • Evodia Old Vine Grenache 2017 Front Label
                Evodia Old Vine Grenache 2017
                Grenache from Spain
                • RP90
                3.9 63 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $9.99
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                14
                9 99
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              • Gloria Ferrer Brut Rose Front Label
                Gloria Ferrer Brut Rose
                Rosé Sparkling Wine from Sonoma County, California
                • WS91
                • CG90
                • WE90
                4.2 20 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $33.99
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              • Rodney Strong Rose of Pinot Noir 2018 Front Label
                Rodney Strong Rose of Pinot Noir 2018
                Rosé from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                • WW92
                • WE92
                3.8 41 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $17.99
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              • Rodney Strong Estate Pinot Noir 2016 Front Label
                Rodney Strong Estate Pinot Noir 2016
                Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                • WS91
                • WE91
                4.1 24 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $17.99
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              • Domaine Bousquet Brut Rose Front Label
                Domaine Bousquet Brut Rose
                Rosé Sparkling Wine from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
                  4.4 26 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $10.99
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                • Markham Sauvignon Blanc 2017  Front Label
                  Markham Sauvignon Blanc 2017
                  Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California
                  • WE90
                  • WW90
                  3.8 9 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                  19
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                • Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
                  Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
                  Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
                  • RP90
                  • D90
                  • WS90
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $25.99
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                  35
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                • Cote des Roses Sauvignon Blanc 2019  Front Label
                  Cote des Roses Sauvignon Blanc 2019
                  Sauvignon Blanc from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
                  • WW89
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                  20
                  14 99
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                • Cote des Roses Rose 2018  Front Label
                  Cote des Roses Rose 2018
                  Rosé from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
                    4.4 55 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                    20
                    14 99
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                  • Cote des Roses Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
                    Cote des Roses Chardonnay 2018
                    Chardonnay from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
                      4.9 6 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                      20
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                    • Carmel Road Monterey Pinot Noir 2016 Front Label
                      Carmel Road Monterey Pinot Noir 2016
                      Pinot Noir from Monterey, Central Coast, California
                      • WE91
                      4.0 47 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $18.99
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                      25
                      18 99
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                    • Casa Castillo Las Gravas 2016  Front Label
                      Casa Castillo Las Gravas 2016
                      Rhone Red Blends from Jumilla, Spain
                      • RP94
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $33.99
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                      45
                      33 99
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