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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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  • Chateau Picque-Caillou  2018  Front Label
    Chateau Picque-Caillou 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
    • WE93
    • RP93
    • JS91
    4.7 30 Ratings
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  • Honig Rutherford Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2018  Front Label
    Honig Rutherford Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2018
    Sauvignon Blanc from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • JS91
    • RP90
    4.0 15 Ratings
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  • Bodega Chakana Estate Selection Malbec 2018  Front Label
    Bodega Chakana Estate Selection Malbec 2018
    Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
    • TP93
    • RP90
    • JS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Quartz Reef Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Quartz Reef Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
    • RP92
    • V92
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  • Tablas Creek Cotes de Tablas Blanc 2018  Front Label
    Tablas Creek Cotes de Tablas Blanc 2018
    Rhone White Blends from Adelaida District, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • WE93
    • RP92
    • WS91
    4.0 46 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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  • MacRostie Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    MacRostie Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WS91
    • RP90
    • W&S90
    • WE90
    3.6 25 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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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
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  • Signorello Hope's Cuvee Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Signorello Hope's Cuvee Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
    • JD93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $84.99
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  • Vasse Felix Heytesbury Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Vasse Felix Heytesbury Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
    • JS97
    • WE96
    • D96
    • RP94
    • W&S92
    • WS90
    4.4 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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  • Talley Rosemary's Vineyard Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Talley Rosemary's Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Arroyo Grande Valley, Central Coast, California
    • V95
    • RP94
    • WW94
    • WE92
    • CG90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $54.99
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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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  • 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
    4.4 9 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $33.99
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    33 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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  • Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Secret des Sabon 2018  Front Label
    Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Secret des Sabon 2018
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP97
    • JD97
    • WS95
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Cristom Paul Gerrie Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Cristom Paul Gerrie Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS94
    • RP92
    • WW91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $56.99
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  • Domaine Raymond Usseglio Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Imperiale 2018  Front Label
    Domaine Raymond Usseglio Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Imperiale 2018
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP97
    • JD94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $77.99
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    77 99
    77 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
    4.7 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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    64 99
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  • Henschke Henry's Seven 2018  Front Label
    Henschke Henry's Seven 2018
    Rhone Red Blends from Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • WE93
    • JS92
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $48.99
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  • Do Ferreiro Albarino 2018  Front Label
    Do Ferreiro Albarino 2018
    Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain
    • RP94
    • V92
    3.6 46 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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  • Weingut F.X. Pichler Ried Steinertal Smaragd Gruner Veltliner 2018  Front Label
    Weingut F.X. Pichler Ried Steinertal Smaragd Gruner Veltliner 2018
    Gruner Veltliner from Wachau, Austria
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $58.99
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  • Cristom Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Cristom Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS99
    • RP94
    • W&S93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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    69 99
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  • Cristom Eola-Amity Hills Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Cristom Eola-Amity Hills Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • W&S91
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $37.99
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    37 99
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  • Seresin Sauvignon Blanc 2018  Front Label
    Seresin Sauvignon Blanc 2018
    Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
    • RP91
    3.7 18 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $23.99
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    23 99
    23 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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    29 99
    29 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
    67 99
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