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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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  • Krug Vintage Brut with Gift Box 2004 Front Label
    Krug Vintage Brut with Gift Box 2004
    Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
    • JS97
    • D97
    • RP97
    • W&S94
    4.1 16 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $299.97
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  • Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2004 Front Label
    Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2004
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • WS96
    • RP94
    • JD93
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $129.97
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    129 97
    129 97
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  • Cayuse Bionic Frog Syrah 2004 Front Label
    Cayuse Bionic Frog Syrah 2004
    Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • RP99
    • WE96
    • WS94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $379.00
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    379
    379
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  • Cayuse En Chamberlin Syrah 2004 Front Label
    Cayuse En Chamberlin Syrah 2004
    Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • RP97
    • WE96
    • WS94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $195.00
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    195
    195
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  • d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2004  Front Label
    d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2004
    Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • RP95
    • W&S90
    4.2 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $68.99
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    68 99
    68 99
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  • Cayuse En Cerise Syrah 2004 Front Label
    Cayuse En Cerise Syrah 2004
    Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • RP96
    • WS93
    • WE92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $149.00
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    149
    149
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  • Yalumba Hand Picked Barossa Shiraz/Viognier 2004 Front Label
    Yalumba Hand Picked Barossa Shiraz/Viognier 2004
    Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • RP93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $44.99
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    44 99
    44 99
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  • Yalumba Hand-Picked Mourvedre Grenache Shiraz 2004 Front Label
    Yalumba Hand-Picked Mourvedre Grenache Shiraz 2004
    Rhone Red Blends from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • RP90
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $33.99
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    33 99
    33 99
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  • Cayuse Camaspelo 2004
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE94
    • RP92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $199.97
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    199 97
    199 97
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  • d'Arenberg Olive Grove Chardonnay 2004 Front Label
    d'Arenberg Olive Grove Chardonnay 2004
    Chardonnay from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • RP89
    • CG89
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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    18 99
    18 99
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  • Dominio de Pingus Flor de Pingus 2004 Front Label
    Dominio de Pingus Flor de Pingus 2004
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • RP98
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $179.97
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    179 97
    179 97
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  • Cayuse Cailloux Syrah 2004 Front Label
    Cayuse Cailloux Syrah 2004
    Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE96
    • RP93
    • WS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $149.00
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    149
    149
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  • Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Hominis Fides 2004 Front Label
    Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Hominis Fides 2004
    Rhone Red Blends from Gigondas, Rhone, France
    • RP94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    39 99
    39 99
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  • Cayuse Armada Syrah 2004  Front Label
    Cayuse Armada Syrah 2004
    Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • RP98
    • WS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $159.97
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    159 97
    159 97
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  • Bollinger La Grande Annee Brut Rose 2004 Front Label
    Bollinger La Grande Annee Brut Rose 2004
    Rosé Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
    • W&S96
    • WE95
    • BH93
    • WS93
    • RP91
    5.0 6 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $239.99
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    239 99
    239 99
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  • Big Basin Rattlesnake Rock Syrah 2004 Front Label
    Big Basin Rattlesnake Rock Syrah 2004
    Syrah/Shiraz from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    • WE94
    • RP92
    • WS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $54.97
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    54 97
    54 97
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  • Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 2004  Front Label
    Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 2004
    Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
    • WE97
    • RP97
    • W&S97
    • WS93
    4.1 11 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $199.99
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    229
    199 99
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  • Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2004 Front Label
    Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2004
    Rhone White Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP93
    • WS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    39 99
    39 99
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  • Yalumba Barossa Shiraz 2004 Front Label
    Yalumba Barossa Shiraz 2004
    Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • RP90
    3.8 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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    15 99
    15 99
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  • d'Arenberg Cadenzia GSM 2004 Front Label
    d'Arenberg Cadenzia GSM 2004
    Rhone Red Blends from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    29 99
    19 99
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  • d'Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier 2004 Front Label
    d'Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier 2004
    Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • RP92
    • W&S92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $25.99
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    29 99
    25 99
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  • TAZ Goat Rock Syrah 2004 Front Label
    TAZ Goat Rock Syrah 2004
    Syrah/Shiraz from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
    • RP92
    • WE92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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    22 99
    22 99
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  • Pinol Sa Natura 2004 Front Label
    Pinol Sa Natura 2004
    Other Red Blends from Spain
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $18.29
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    18 28
    18 28
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  • Henschke Julius Eden Valley Riesling 2004 Front Label
    Henschke Julius Eden Valley Riesling 2004
    Riesling from Eden Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • RP88
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $25.99
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    25 99
    25 99
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  • Di Majo Norante Sangiovese 2004 Front Label
    Di Majo Norante Sangiovese 2004
    Sangiovese from Italy
    • RP90
    3.6 15 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $13.99
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    13 99
    13 99
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