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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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  • Clos Apalta  2017 Front Label
    Clos Apalta 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
    • JS100
    • RP95
    • D94
    4.2 8 Ratings
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  • Chateau Pontet-Canet (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016 Front Label
    Chateau Pontet-Canet (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • WE100
    • V99
    • RP98
    • D98
    • JD98
    • JS97
    • WS95
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard Fortuna Terrae Malbec 2017  Front Label
    Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard Fortuna Terrae Malbec 2017
    Malbec from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
    • RP98
    • JS98
    • WS95
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  • Vietti Barolo Lazzarito 2016  Front Label
    Vietti Barolo Lazzarito 2016
    Nebbiolo from Serralunga d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy
    • V98
    • RP98
    • WS95
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay 2019  Front Label
    Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay 2019
    Chardonnay from Tasmania, Australia
    • JS98
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Podere Grattamacco Bolgheri Superiore 2016  Front Label
    Podere Grattamacco Bolgheri Superiore 2016
    Other Red Blends from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
    • D97
    • RP96
    • JS95
    • WS95
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Vietti Barolo Ravera (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2014  Front Label
    Vietti Barolo Ravera (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2014
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • V97
    • RP94
    • WS94
    • W&S94
    • JS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Vasse Felix Heytesbury Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Vasse Felix Heytesbury Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
    • JS97
    • WE96
    • D96
    • RP94
    • W&S92
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Domaine des Bosquets Gigondas La Colline 2018  Front Label
    Domaine des Bosquets Gigondas La Colline 2018
    Grenache from Gigondas, Rhone, France
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    • RP96
    • WS94
    0.0 0 Ratings
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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
    4.0 515 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $13.99
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  • Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Secret des Sabon 2018  Front Label
    Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Secret des Sabon 2018
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP97
    • JD97
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Meal Blanc 2016  Front Label
    M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Meal Blanc 2016
    Marsanne from Hermitage, Rhone, France
    • JD97
    • RP94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $329.99
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  • Isole e Olena Cepparello 2017 Front Label
    Isole e Olena Cepparello 2017
    Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
    • V97
    • JS95
    • RP95
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Two Paddocks The First Paddock Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Two Paddocks The First Paddock Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
    • JS97
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Henschke Mount Edelstone Shiraz 2015  Front Label
    Henschke Mount Edelstone Shiraz 2015
    Syrah/Shiraz from Eden Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • JS96
    • D96
    • WE96
    • RP95
    • WW94
    • WS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $209.99
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  • Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Prestige 2018  Front Label
    Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Prestige 2018
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP96
    • JD95
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $77.99
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  • Tasca d'Almerita Rosso del Conte 2014  Front Label
    Tasca d'Almerita Rosso del Conte 2014
    Other Red Blends from Italy
    • JS96
    • RP94
    • WS91
    4.8 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $65.99
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  • Vasse Felix Tom Cullity Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Vasse Felix Tom Cullity Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
    • WE96
    • JS96
    • RP95
    • W&S95
    • WS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Bollinger Brut Special Cuvee (375ML half-bottle) Front Label
    Bollinger Brut Special Cuvee (375ML half-bottle)
    Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
    • D96
    • WW94
    • JS93
    • JD93
    • WE92
    • WS92
    • RP91
    • W&S91
    • CG91
    4.2 69 Ratings
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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
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Yalumba The Signature Cabernet/Shiraz 2015  Front Label
    Yalumba The Signature Cabernet/Shiraz 2015
    Other Red Blends from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • JS96
    • D94
    • WE93
    • RP93
    • WW92
    • W&S92
    3.9 14 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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  • Clos Apalta Le Petit Clos Apalta 2016  Front Label
    Clos Apalta Le Petit Clos Apalta 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
    • JS96
    • RP93
    • WS93
    4.5 13 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $54.99
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  • Elderton Command Shiraz 2016  Front Label
    Elderton Command Shiraz 2016
    Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • RP96
    • JS94
    • D91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Shaw & Smith M3 Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
    Shaw & Smith M3 Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia
    • JS96
    3.7 18 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $37.99
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  • Chappellet Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Chappellet Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • RP96
    • WW96
    • JD95
    • JS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $279.99
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