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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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  • Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
    Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
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  • Rodney Strong Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Front Label
    Rodney Strong Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California
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    • WW93
    • WE90
    4.5 15 Ratings
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  • Dominio Basconcillos Vina Magna 6 Meses 2016 Front Label
    Dominio Basconcillos Vina Magna 6 Meses 2016
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • D90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Quartz Reef Bendigo Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016 Front Label
    Quartz Reef Bendigo Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
    • D94
    • JS92
    • RP91
    • WE91
    • WS90
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  • Graham's 20 Year Old Tawny Port Front Label
    Graham's 20 Year Old Tawny Port
    Port from Douro, Portugal
    • D96
    • JS94
    • WS93
    • WE90
    4.4 120 Ratings
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  • Henschke Keyneton Estate Euphonium 2014 Front Label
    Henschke Keyneton Estate Euphonium 2014
    Other Red Blends from Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • WW94
    • WS93
    • RP92
    • JS92
    • WE92
    • D91
    • W&S90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Front Label
    Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc 2018
    Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
    • D92
    • WE91
    • WS90
    4.0 12 Ratings
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  • Signorello Padrone Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Front Label
    Signorello Padrone Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • V96
    • RP95
    • D95
    4.7 18 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $179.99
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    200
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  • Querciabella Chianti Classico 2015 Front Label
    Querciabella Chianti Classico 2015
    Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
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    • JS92
    • WS92
    • W&S91
    • RP90
    3.7 58 Ratings
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  • Olivier Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 2016 Front Label
    Olivier Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 2016
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • JS93
    • BH91
    • WS90
    • D90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $79.99
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  • La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2009 Front Label
    La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2009
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS96
    • TA95
    • RP93
    • D91
    • WS90
    4.3 137 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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  • Frog's Leap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Frog's Leap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • V93
    • WW93
    • D92
    4.3 16 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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  • Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2016  Front Label
    Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2016
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • JD99
    • WS97
    • RP97
    • D96
    4.7 9 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $109.99
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  • Greywacke Pinot Noir 2015 Front Label
    Greywacke Pinot Noir 2015
    Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
    • JS96
    • D93
    • WW92
    • RP91
    • WS90
    3.7 36 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $36.99
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  • Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Front Label
    Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc 2018
    Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
    • D91
    • WE90
    • WS90
    4.3 31 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $20.99
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  • Mas Doix Salanques 2013 Front Label
    Mas Doix Salanques 2013
    Other Red Blends from Priorat, Spain
    • WS93
    • D92
    • JS91
    4.4 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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  • Frog's Leap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016 Front Label
    Frog's Leap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • V93
    • WW93
    • D92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Front Label
    Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • D96
    • WE92
    • JS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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  • Vietti Barolo Lazzarito 2015  Front Label
    Vietti Barolo Lazzarito 2015
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • JS96
    • RP96
    • WS95
    • D94
    • V94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $209.99
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  • Vietti Barolo Lazzarito (5 Liter Bottle) 2015  Front Label
    Vietti Barolo Lazzarito (5 Liter Bottle) 2015
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • JS96
    • RP96
    • WS95
    • D94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $1,999.97
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  • Rodney Strong Alexander's Crown Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Front Label
    Rodney Strong Alexander's Crown Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP91
    • D90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $79.99
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  • Vietti Barolo Ravera 2015  Front Label
    Vietti Barolo Ravera 2015
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • RP96
    • JS95
    • V95
    • WS94
    • WE93
    • D92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $219.99
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  • Chateau Guiraud Sauternes (375ML Futures Pre-Sale) 2017 Front Label
    Chateau Guiraud Sauternes (375ML Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
    • WE96
    • JS95
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    • JD95
    • D94
    • TA94
    • RP93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $25.97
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    25 97
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  • Chateau de Nalys Chateauneuf-du-Pape Grand Vin (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016 Front Label
    Chateau de Nalys Chateauneuf-du-Pape Grand Vin (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP95
    • JS93
    • D92
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $229.97
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    229 97
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  • Chateau Haut-Bergey (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018  Front Label
    Chateau Haut-Bergey (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
    • WE94
    • D93
    • JS92
    • RP92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $23.97
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    23 97
    23 97
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