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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 Magia Brunello di Montalcino 2016  Front Label
    La Magia Brunello di Montalcino 2016
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS96
    • D95
    • JD94
    • WE90
    4.1 18 Ratings
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  • Vietti Barolo Brunate 2017  Front Label
    Vietti Barolo Brunate 2017
    Nebbiolo from La Morra, Piedmont, Italy
    • JD96
    • JS96
    • RP95
    • V94
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Vietti Barolo Lazzarito 2017  Front Label
    Vietti Barolo Lazzarito 2017
    Nebbiolo from Serralunga d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy
    • JD97
    • JS96
    • V95
    • RP94
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Vietti Barolo Ravera 2017  Front Label
    Vietti Barolo Ravera 2017
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • JD98
    • JS97
    • V96
    • RP95
    • WS95
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Jaboulet Hermitage La Maison Bleue 2016  Front Label
    Jaboulet Hermitage La Maison Bleue 2016
    Syrah/Shiraz from Hermitage, Rhone, France
    • JS95
    • JD93
    • RP93
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $79.99
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  • MacRostie Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    MacRostie Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • JD92
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Chamisal Vineyards Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay 2016 Front Label
    Chamisal Vineyards Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • JD93
    • WE92
    • WS90
    4.1 54 Ratings
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  • M. Chapoutier La Combe Pilate 2018  Front Label
    M. Chapoutier La Combe Pilate 2018
    Viognier from Rhone, France
    • JS90
    • JD90
    3.4 24 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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  • St. Supery Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 Front Label
    St. Supery Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • JS92
    • JD90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Sena  2018  Front Label
    Sena 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Aconcagua Valley, Chile
    • JS100
    • RP98
    • JD98
    • D97
    4.5 18 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $129.99
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  • POPUP Sparkling Wine 2019  Front Label
    POPUP Sparkling Wine 2019
    Vintage Sparkling Wine from Ancient Lakes, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • JD90
    • JS90
    3.4 21 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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  • Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserve 2018  Front Label
    Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserve 2018
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • JD97
    • RP97
    • WS94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $184.99
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  • Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2016  Front Label
    Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2016
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS97
    • D97
    • WE96
    • RP94
    • JD94
    • V94
    • WS93
    4.5 42 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $57.99
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  • Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2015  Front Label
    Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JD98
    • WS96
    • JS95
    • WE91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $444.99
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  • Mas Martinet Clos Martinet Priorat 2017  Front Label
    Mas Martinet Clos Martinet Priorat 2017
    Rhone Red Blends from Priorat, Spain
    • RP95
    • JD94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.99
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  • Paul Lato O Sole Mio Two Wolves Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2019  Front Label
    Paul Lato O Sole Mio Two Wolves Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2019
    Sauvignon Blanc from Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • JD93
    • RP92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $44.99
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  • Louis Roederer Brut Premier Front Label
    Louis Roederer Brut Premier
    Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
    • D94
    • JS93
    • WE92
    • RP92
    • JD91
    • W&S90
    4.3 269 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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  • Col d'Orcia Poggio al Vento Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2013  Front Label
    Col d'Orcia Poggio al Vento Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2013
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • RP96
    • WE96
    • JS93
    • JD91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $139.99
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  • Kosta Browne Russian River Pinot Noir 2019  Front Label
    Kosta Browne Russian River Pinot Noir 2019
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • JD94
    • WW92
    • WS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $109.99
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    115
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  • MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2019  Front Label
    MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2019
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • TP94
    • W&S92
    • WW90
    • JD90
    4.4 17 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $23.99
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    25
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  • Bodegas Mauro  2018  Front Label
    Bodegas Mauro 2018
    Tempranillo from Spain
    • RP94
    • V93
    • JD92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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  • Com Tu by Clos Mogador  2017  Front Label
    Com Tu by Clos Mogador 2017
    Grenache from Montsant, Spain
    • RP93
    • JD92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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    59 99
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  • Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Renaissance Blanc 2019  Front Label
    Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Renaissance Blanc 2019
    Rhone White Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP92
    • JD91
    3.8 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $52.99
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  • Chateau Pontet-Canet  2015 Front Label
    Chateau Pontet-Canet 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • JS98
    • RP97
    • WE97
    • D96
    • JD95
    • WS94
    4.2 24 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $124.99
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    124 99
    124 99
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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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    329 99
    329 99
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