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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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  • St. Supery Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 Front Label
    St. Supery Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • JS92
    • JD90
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  • Aalto PS 2018  Front Label
    Aalto PS 2018
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • JD98
    • RP95
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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
    • JD97
    • WE96
    • RP95
    • WS94
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  • Staglin Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Staglin Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • JD94
    • WS90
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  • Raymond Reserve Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Raymond Reserve Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • V92
    • RP92
    • WS91
    • WW90
    • JD90
    4.2 84 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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  • Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • JS93
    • JD90
    4.2 43 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $38.99
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  • Chateau Fombrauge  2018  Front Label
    Chateau Fombrauge 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
    • JD95
    • WS94
    • JS94
    • D93
    • RP93
    • V92
    4.1 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $44.99
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  • Chateau Pesquie Quintessence 2018  Front Label
    Chateau Pesquie Quintessence 2018
    Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Ventoux, Rhone, France
    • RP93
    • JD93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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  • L'Aventure Optimus 2018  Front Label
    L'Aventure Optimus 2018
    Other Red Blends from Willow Creek District, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • JD94
    • JS94
    • D94
    • RP92
    4.6 9 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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  • Morgan Twelve Clones Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Morgan Twelve Clones Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
    • WE92
    • TP92
    • JD92
    4.0 10 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $33.99
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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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  • Chateau Bellegrave  2018  Front Label
    Chateau Bellegrave 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • JS93
    • WE92
    • JD92
    4.7 18 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $47.99
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    47 99
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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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  • Talley Rosemary's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Talley Rosemary's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Arroyo Grande Valley, Central Coast, California
    • JD96
    • V96
    • RP94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.99
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  • Domaine St. Damien Gigondas Vieilles Vignes 2018  Front Label
    Domaine St. Damien Gigondas Vieilles Vignes 2018
    Rhone Red Blends from Gigondas, Rhone, France
    • JD94
    • RP94
    4.0 13 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $33.99
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  • Domaine de Marcoux Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2018  Front Label
    Domaine de Marcoux Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2018
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP95
    • JD93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $67.99
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    67 99
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  • Domaine les Pallieres Gigondas Terrasse du Diable 2018  Front Label
    Domaine les Pallieres Gigondas Terrasse du Diable 2018
    Rhone Red Blends from Gigondas, Rhone, France
    • RP95
    • JS93
    • JD92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $52.99
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    52 99
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  • Paul Lato Le Jardin Secret Grimm Bluff Sauvignon Blanc 2018  Front Label
    Paul Lato Le Jardin Secret Grimm Bluff Sauvignon Blanc 2018
    Sauvignon Blanc from Happy Canyon, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • RP93
    • JD92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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  • Liquid Farm White Hill Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Liquid Farm White Hill Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • V94
    • JD93
    • W&S92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $48.99
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  • Bila-Haut by Michel Chapoutier Occultum Lapidem 2018  Front Label
    Bila-Haut by Michel Chapoutier Occultum Lapidem 2018
    Rhone Red Blends from Côtes du Roussillon-Villages, Roussillon, South of France, France
    • JD94
    • RP91
    4.5 20 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $32.99
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  • J Wilkes Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    J Wilkes Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
    • JD90
    3.8 6 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $31.99
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  • Domaine Giraud Chateauneuf-du-Pape Gallimardes Blanc 2018  Front Label
    Domaine Giraud Chateauneuf-du-Pape Gallimardes Blanc 2018
    Rhone White Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • JD92
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $74.99
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  • Domaine Raymond Usseglio Chateauneuf-du-Pape Girard 2018  Front Label
    Domaine Raymond Usseglio Chateauneuf-du-Pape Girard 2018
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • JD93
    • RP93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $54.99
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    54 99
    54 99
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  • L'Ecole 41 Estate Merlot 2018  Front Label
    L'Ecole 41 Estate Merlot 2018
    Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • JS94
    • JD92
    • RP92
    • WE90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $43.99
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    43 99
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  • Domaine des Bosquets Gigondas Reserve 2018  Front Label
    Domaine des Bosquets Gigondas Reserve 2018
    Rhone Red Blends from Gigondas, Rhone, France
    • JD94
    • RP93
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $47.99
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    47 99
    47 99
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