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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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  • Chateau Malartic-Lagraviere  2015  Front Label
    Chateau Malartic-Lagraviere 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
    • JS96
    • D96
    • V96
    • WE95
    • RP92
    • WS92
    • JD92
    4.2 45 Ratings
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  • Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico 2015 Front Label
    Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico 2015
    Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS93
    3.9 24 Ratings
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  • Vietti Barolo Castiglione 2015 Front Label
    Vietti Barolo Castiglione 2015
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • JS94
    • RP94
    • WS91
    • WE90
    4.5 13 Ratings
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  • Chateau Pontet-Canet  2015 Front Label
    Chateau Pontet-Canet 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • JS98
    • V97
    • WE97
    • RP96
    • D96
    • JD95
    • WS94
    4.1 14 Ratings
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  • Querciabella Chianti Classico 2015 Front Label
    Querciabella Chianti Classico 2015
    Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
    • D97
    • JS92
    • WS92
    • W&S91
    • RP90
    3.8 70 Ratings
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  • Double Canyon Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Front Label
    Double Canyon Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WW91
    • JS90
    • RP90
    3.8 80 Ratings
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  • Wirra Wirra Scrubby Rise Red 2015 Front Label
    Wirra Wirra Scrubby Rise Red 2015
    Other Red Blends from Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
    • JS92
    3.6 8 Ratings
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  • Hacienda Araucano Clos de Lolol Red 2015  Front Label
    Hacienda Araucano Clos de Lolol Red 2015
    Other Red Blends from Chile
    • JS95
    • TA91
    4.0 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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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
    3.8 39 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $36.99
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  • Bodegas Mas Alta Artigas Priorat 2015 Front Label
    Bodegas Mas Alta Artigas Priorat 2015
    Rhone Red Blends from Priorat, Spain
    • JD94
    • JS90
    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
    • JS93
    • WW92
    • W&S92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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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
    4.6 9 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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  • Argyle Reserve Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2015 Front Label
    Argyle Reserve Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2015
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS93
    • WW92
    • WS90
    4.0 19 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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  • Chateau de Monbadon  2015 Front Label
    Chateau de Monbadon 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Cotes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France
    • JS90
    3.4 14 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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  • De Martino Legado Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2015  Front Label
    De Martino Legado Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile
    • JS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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    24 99
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  • Charly Thevenet Regnie Grain and Granit 2015 Front Label
    Charly Thevenet Regnie Grain and Granit 2015
    Gamay from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
    • JS94
    4.7 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $36.99
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  • Rippon Vineyard Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2015 Front Label
    Rippon Vineyard Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2015
    Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
    • JS96
    • RP94
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Il Palagio Casino Delle Vie 2015  Front Label
    Il Palagio Casino Delle Vie 2015
    Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Bethel Heights Estate Grown Chardonnay 2015 Front Label
    Bethel Heights Estate Grown Chardonnay 2015
    Chardonnay from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WE93
    • JS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Henschke Henry's Seven 2015 Front Label
    Henschke Henry's Seven 2015
    Rhone Red Blends from Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • JS93
    • WE92
    • W&S91
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $44.99
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  • Eisele Vineyard Altagracia Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Front Label
    Eisele Vineyard Altagracia Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WW96
    • JS95
    • RP94
    3.9 6 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $159.99
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  • Yalumba Tri-Centenary Vineyard Grenache 2015  Front Label
    Yalumba Tri-Centenary Vineyard Grenache 2015
    Grenache from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • JS96
    • WW92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $53.99
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    58
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  • Brick & Mortar Cougar Rock Chardonnay 2015  Front Label
    Brick & Mortar Cougar Rock Chardonnay 2015
    Chardonnay from Atlas Peak, Napa Valley, California
    • JS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $43.99
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  • Villa Maria Taylors Pass Vineyard Chardonnay 2015 Front Label
    Villa Maria Taylors Pass Vineyard Chardonnay 2015
    Chardonnay from New Zealand
    • RP91
    • JS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere  2015 Front Label
    Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
    • V97
    • RP97
    • WS96
    • JS96
    • WW96
    • JD95
    • WE94
    • D93
    4.2 11 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $119.99
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