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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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  • Vietti Barolo Ravera 2011 Front Label
    Vietti Barolo Ravera 2011
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • RP95
    • JS93
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  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2017 Front Label
    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2017
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS91
    • WE91
    • JD90
    • RP90
    4.3 206 Ratings
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  • Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Secret des Sabon 2013 Front Label
    Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Secret des Sabon 2013
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP94
    • WS94
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Chamisal Vineyards Stainless Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Chamisal Vineyards Stainless Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
    • RP91
    5.0 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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  • Bodegas Raul Perez Ultreia La Claudina Godello 2016 Front Label
    Bodegas Raul Perez Ultreia La Claudina Godello 2016
    Godello from Bierzo, Spain
    • RP94
    • D91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
    Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • JS96
    • JD94
    • RP93
    4.2 54 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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  • Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches Premier Cru Rouge 2017  Front Label
    Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches Premier Cru Rouge 2017
    Pinot Noir from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • D94
    • JS94
    • WS94
    • RP93
    • WE93
    • BH92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2011 Front Label
    Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2011
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • RP96
    • WE95
    • JS94
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    550
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  • Matetic EQ Coastal Sauvignon Blanc 2018  Front Label
    Matetic EQ Coastal Sauvignon Blanc 2018
    Sauvignon Blanc from Casablanca Valley, Chile
    • RP93
    • JS92
    3.8 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $16.99
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  • Sixto Roza Hills Chardonnay 2015  Front Label
    Sixto Roza Hills Chardonnay 2015
    Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • JD94
    • RP93
    • WS92
    • WE91
    3.5 19 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $47.99
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  • Clos Apalta  2016  Front Label
    Clos Apalta 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
    • JS99
    • RP96
    • WS94
    • V93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $139.99
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  • Bodegas Mauro  2016 Front Label
    Bodegas Mauro 2016
    Tempranillo from Spain
    • RP93
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Markham Merlot 2016 Front Label
    Markham Merlot 2016
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP92
    • WW90
    4.0 77 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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  • Bollinger Brut Special Cuvee Front Label
    Bollinger Brut Special Cuvee
    Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
    • WW94
    • WS93
    • JD93
    • JS92
    • WE92
    • W&S91
    • RP91
    • D90
    4.3 221 Ratings
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  • Ceretto Barbaresco 2016  Front Label
    Ceretto Barbaresco 2016
    Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
    • WS94
    • JS93
    • RP92
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    Currently Unavailable $79.99
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  • Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
    Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS95
    • RP95
    4.4 9 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $57.99
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  • Raymond Reserve Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Raymond Reserve Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • JS97
    • RP92
    • WW92
    • JD90
    4.3 45 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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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 90 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    33
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  • Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino 2011 Front Label
    Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino 2011
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • WE95
    • RP93
    • JS93
    • WS90
    4.8 6 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $264.99
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    290
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  • Kosta Browne Cerise Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
    Kosta Browne Cerise Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
    • WE96
    • JD94
    • JS94
    • RP92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $149.99
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  • Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • JD94
    • WW93
    • RP92
    • WE90
    4.4 55 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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  • Volker Eisele Cabernet Sauvignon 2014  Front Label
    Volker Eisele Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Chiles Valley, Napa Valley, California
    • JS93
    • RP91
    • WE90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $54.99
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  • Amapola Creek Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2005  Front Label
    Amapola Creek Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP95
    • WS94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $109.99
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  • Yalumba Tri-Centenary Vineyard Grenache 2011 Front Label
    Yalumba Tri-Centenary Vineyard Grenache 2011
    Grenache from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • WE93
    • WS92
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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    54
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  • Yalumba Tri-Centenary Vineyard Grenache 2013  Front Label
    Yalumba Tri-Centenary Vineyard Grenache 2013
    Grenache from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • W&S94
    • JS93
    • RP92
    • WE91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $53.99
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    53 99
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