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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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  • 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
    4.3 151 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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    34 99
    34 99
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  • Castello di Bossi Corbaia 2009 Front Label
    Castello di Bossi Corbaia 2009
    Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
    • RP95
    • JS93
    • WE92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $59.97
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    59 97
    59 97
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  • Louis Roederer Brut Nature Philippe Starck Label 2009 Front Label
    Louis Roederer Brut Nature Philippe Starck Label 2009
    Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
    • JS94
    • W&S94
    4.4 10 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.99
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    89 99
    89 99
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  • Monte Antico Rosso (3 Liter Bottle) 2009 Front Label
    Monte Antico Rosso (3 Liter Bottle) 2009
    Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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    69 99
    69 99
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  • Ferrari Perle 2009 Front Label
    Ferrari Perle 2009
    Vintage Sparkling Wine from Veneto, Italy
    • JS93
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $42.99
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    42 99
    42 99
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  • Chateau Guiraud Sauternes (375ML half-bottle) 2009 Front Label
    Chateau Guiraud Sauternes (375ML half-bottle) 2009
    Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
    • WE97
    • WS96
    • RP96
    • JS96
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    39 99
    39 99
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  • Vietti Barolo Rocche 2009 Front Label
    Vietti Barolo Rocche 2009
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • RP96
    • WS93
    • JS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $169.99
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    169 99
    169 99
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  • Telmo Rodriguez Dehesa Gago 2009 Front Label
    Telmo Rodriguez Dehesa Gago 2009
    Tempranillo from Spain
    • JS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    19 99
    19 99
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  • Lungarotti Torgiano Rubesco 2009 Front Label
    Lungarotti Torgiano Rubesco 2009
    Other Red Blends from Italy
    • JS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    17 99
    17 99
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  • Palacios Remondo La Vendimia 2009 Front Label
    Palacios Remondo La Vendimia 2009
    Other Red Blends from Rioja, Spain
    • JS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $17.29
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    17 28
    17 28
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  • Yalumba The Octavius Old Vine Shiraz 2009 Front Label
    Yalumba The Octavius Old Vine Shiraz 2009
    Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • V94
    • WE93
    • WS92
    • JS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $124.99
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    124 99
    124 99
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  • Tenuta di Ghizzano Nambrot 2009 Front Label
    Tenuta di Ghizzano Nambrot 2009
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
    • RP94
    • JS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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    65
    49 99
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  • Vietti Barolo Brunate 2009 Front Label
    Vietti Barolo Brunate 2009
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • RP95
    • JS94
    • WS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $159.99
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    185
    159 99
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  • Vietti Barolo Castiglione 2009 Front Label
    Vietti Barolo Castiglione 2009
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • RP94
    • WS92
    • JS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $45.99
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    51 99
    45 99
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  • L'Aventure Cote A Cote 2009 Front Label
    L'Aventure Cote A Cote 2009
    Rhone Red Blends from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • JS95
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $71.99
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    85
    71 99
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  • Mauro Veglio Barolo Vigneto Gattera 2009 Front Label
    Mauro Veglio Barolo Vigneto Gattera 2009
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • RP94
    • JS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $61.99
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    61 99
    61 99
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  • Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2009 Front Label
    Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2009
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • RP92
    • JS92
    • WS90
    3.9 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $54.99
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    66
    54 99
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  • Fontodi Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna del Sorbo 2009 Front Label
    Fontodi Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna del Sorbo 2009
    Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS95
    • RP94
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $78.99
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    78 99
    78 99
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  • Castellare I Sodi S. Niccolo 2009 Front Label
    Castellare I Sodi S. Niccolo 2009
    Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
    • RP95
    • JS93
    • WS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $58.99
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    64 99
    58 99
    Save $6.00 (9%)
  • Monte Antico Rosso 2009 Front Label
    Monte Antico Rosso 2009
    Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS90
    3.5 33 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $10.99
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    12
    10 99
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  • Clos Apalta  2009 Front Label
    Clos Apalta 2009
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Chile
    • WS96
    • JS94
    • WE93
    4.0 13 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.00
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    89
    89
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  • Vietti Barolo Lazzarito 2009 Front Label
    Vietti Barolo Lazzarito 2009
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • RP95
    • JS94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $135.00
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    135
    135
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  • Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz 2009 Front Label
    Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz 2009
    Syrah/Shiraz from Eden Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • WS98
    • RP97
    • JS97
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $649.00
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    649
    649
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  • Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape (3 Liter Bottle) 2009 Front Label
    Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape (3 Liter Bottle) 2009
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • WS96
    • RP94
    • JS94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $499.00
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    499
    499
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  • Querciabella Mongrana 2009 Front Label
    Querciabella Mongrana 2009
    Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
    Try the 2015 Vintage 22 99
    22
    18 99
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