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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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  • Schramsberg Reserve Brut 2010  Front Label
    Schramsberg Reserve Brut 2010
    Vintage Sparkling Wine from North Coast, California
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    • JS92
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  • Hermanos Pecina Finca Iscorta de Pecina Gran Reserva 2010 Front Label
    Hermanos Pecina Finca Iscorta de Pecina Gran Reserva 2010
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP94
    • TA94
    • WW92
    • JS90
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    3.9 6 Ratings
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  • Chateau Pontet-Canet  2010 Front Label
    Chateau Pontet-Canet 2010
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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    • RP100
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    • JD98
    • WS97
    4.4 51 Ratings
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  • Cayuse Camaspelo 2010 Front Label
    Cayuse Camaspelo 2010
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • RP96
    • WS93
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  • Cayuse Cailloux Syrah 2010 Front Label
    Cayuse Cailloux Syrah 2010
    Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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    • WE97
    • WS95
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  • Cayuse Bionic Frog Syrah 2010 Front Label
    Cayuse Bionic Frog Syrah 2010
    Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • RP100
    • WS97
    • WE94
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  • Henschke Keyneton Estate Euphonium 2010 Front Label
    Henschke Keyneton Estate Euphonium 2010
    Other Red Blends from Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • RP92
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  • Cayuse Impulsivo Tempranillo 2010 Front Label
    Cayuse Impulsivo Tempranillo 2010
    Tempranillo from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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    • WS94
    • WE93
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  • Cayuse Armada Syrah 2010 Front Label
    Cayuse Armada Syrah 2010
    Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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    • WE97
    • WS93
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  • Cayuse En Cerise Syrah 2010 Front Label
    Cayuse En Cerise Syrah 2010
    Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE98
    • WS96
    • RP95
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  • Le Ragnaie Brunello di Montalcino 2010 Front Label
    Le Ragnaie Brunello di Montalcino 2010
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS98
    • RP93
    • WS93
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  • Querciabella Camartina 2010 Front Label
    Querciabella Camartina 2010
    Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
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    • WS93
    • WE93
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  • Domaine de Cristia Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2010 Front Label
    Domaine de Cristia Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2010
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • WS93
    • RP91
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  • La Serena Brunello di Montalcino 2010 Front Label
    La Serena Brunello di Montalcino 2010
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
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    • WS96
    • RP94
    3.8 6 Ratings
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  • L'Aventure Cote A Cote 2010 Front Label
    L'Aventure Cote A Cote 2010
    Rhone Red Blends from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • RP93
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  • Jaboulet Hermitage La Petite Chapelle 2010 Front Label
    Jaboulet Hermitage La Petite Chapelle 2010
    Syrah/Shiraz from Hermitage, Rhone, France
    • RP92
    • WS91
    • WE90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $104.99
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  • Chateau Guiraud Sauternes 2010 Front Label
    Chateau Guiraud Sauternes 2010
    Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
    • JS96
    • D95
    • WS94
    • RP93
    • WE93
    4.5 14 Ratings
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  • Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Front Bottle Shot
    Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile
    • WS89
    • RP87
    • WE87
    3.8 10 Ratings
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  • Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserve 2010 Front Label
    Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserve 2010
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP100
    • WS97
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $249.00
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  • Chehalem Dry Riesling Reserve 2010 Front Label
    Chehalem Dry Riesling Reserve 2010
    Riesling from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP91
    • WS91
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  • Uccelliera Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2010 Front Label
    Uccelliera Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2010
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS98
    • WS98
    • RP98
    • WE95
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  • Cayuse Widowmaker Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Front Label
    Cayuse Widowmaker Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • RP97
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches Premier Cru Blanc 2010 Front Label
    Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches Premier Cru Blanc 2010
    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
    • WE94
    • RP93
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  • Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2010 Front Label
    Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2010
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS98
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    • WE97
    • W&S96
    • WS94
    4.9 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $559.99
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  • Vasse Felix Chardonnay 2010 Front Label
    Vasse Felix Chardonnay 2010
    Chardonnay from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
    • RP91
    • W&S90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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