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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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  • Westwood Winery Annadel Gap Vineyard Estate Syrah 2016  Front Label
    Westwood Winery Annadel Gap Vineyard Estate Syrah 2016
    Syrah/Shiraz from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • TP95
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $53.98
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    53 98
    53 98
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  • Experience Trail 3150 Single Vineyard Red 2016  Front Label
    Experience Trail 3150 Single Vineyard Red 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
    • TP93
    • WW91
    • WE90
    • JS90
    • JD90
    4.7 7 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $46.99
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    60
    46 99
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  • Westwood Winery Wendling Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
    Westwood Winery Wendling Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
    • TP94
    • JD94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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    80
    69 99
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  • Opaque Darkness Red Wine 2016  Front Label
    Opaque Darkness Red Wine 2016
    Other Red Blends from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • TP93
    • WE92
    4.2 67 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    35
    29 99
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  • Rodney Strong Alexander Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Rodney Strong Alexander Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • D95
    • TP93
    • W&S90
    • WW90
    4.0 252 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    28
    21 99
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  • Bonterra The Butler Biodynamic Single Vineyard Red 2016  Front Label
    Bonterra The Butler Biodynamic Single Vineyard Red 2016
    Rhone Red Blends from Mendocino, California
    • TP95
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $51.99
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    51 99
    51 99
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  • Double Canyon Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 Front Label
    Double Canyon Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • TP93
    • D92
    • W&S92
    • JS91
    4.0 1136 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    25
    19 99
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  • Wente Eric's Chardonnay 2016 Front Label
    Wente Eric's Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Livermore Valley, Central Coast, California
    • TP93
    • WE90
    3.9 6 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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    30
    24 99
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  • Westwood Winery Legend Proprietary Red Blend 2016  Front Label
    Westwood Winery Legend Proprietary Red Blend 2016
    Other Red Blends from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WE96
    • TP96
    • WW94
    • CG90
    4.4 11 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $51.99
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    55
    51 99
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  • Ironstone Reserve Cabernet Franc 2016 Front Label
    Ironstone Reserve Cabernet Franc 2016
    Cabernet Franc from Sierra Foothills, California
    • TP90
    3.9 10 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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    28
    24 99
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  • Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Zinfandel 2016 Front Label
    Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Zinfandel 2016
    Zinfandel from Santa Margarita Ranch, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • TP94
    • RP90
    • WW90
    • JD90
    3.9 237 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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    18 99
    18 99
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  • Parducci True Grit Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 Front Label
    Parducci True Grit Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendocino, California
    • TP91
    • WW90
    3.8 208 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    30
    19 99
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  • Beckmen Purisima Mountain Vineyard Syrah 2016 Front Label
    Beckmen Purisima Mountain Vineyard Syrah 2016
    Syrah/Shiraz from Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • TP94
    • D92
    3.9 10 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    32
    29 99
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  • Hahn Founder's Pinot Gris 2016 Front Label
    Hahn Founder's Pinot Gris 2016
    Pinot Gris/Grigio from Monterey, Central Coast, California
    • TP92
    3.5 35 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    14 99
    14 99
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  • Rodney Strong Brothers Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Rodney Strong Brothers Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • TP95
    • WW92
    • WE91
    4.2 6 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $84.99
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    84 99
    84 99
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  • Craggy Range Winery Te Muna Road Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Front Label
    Craggy Range Winery Te Muna Road Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016
    Sauvignon Blanc from Martinborough, New Zealand
    • WS92
    • TP92
    4.1 42 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    21 99
    21 99
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  • Tangent Paragon Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Front Label
    Tangent Paragon Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016
    Sauvignon Blanc from Edna Valley, Central Coast, California
    • TP91
    • WW90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    17 99
    17 99
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  • Paul Dolan Vineyards Organically Grown Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 Front Label
    Paul Dolan Vineyards Organically Grown Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendocino, California
    • WE94
    • TP92
    3.9 77 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $25.99
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    30
    25 99
    Save $4.01 (13%)
  • Long Meadow Ranch Anderson Valley Chardonnay 2016  Front Label
    Long Meadow Ranch Anderson Valley Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
    • RP94
    • TP91
    • WW91
    4.7 5 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $43.99
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    43 99
    43 99
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  • Benziger Organic Reserve Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
    Benziger Organic Reserve Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • TP93
    4.4 7 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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    49 99
    49 99
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  • J. Lohr Falcon's Perch Pinot Noir 2016 Front Label
    J. Lohr Falcon's Perch Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Monterey, Central Coast, California
    • TP91
    3.8 14 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $16.99
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    16 99
    16 99
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  • Niner Proprietary Red 2016 Front Label
    Niner Proprietary Red 2016
    Other Red Blends from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • TP92
    3.9 5 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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    18 99
    18 99
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  • Wente Wetmore Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Wente Wetmore Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Livermore Valley, Central Coast, California
    • TP95
    4.0 22 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $25.99
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    30
    25 99
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  • Clos Henri Petit Clos Pinot Noir 2016 Front Label
    Clos Henri Petit Clos Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
    • TP91
    3.8 8 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $20.99
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    20 99
    20 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Bonterra The Roost Biodynamic Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2016 Front Label
    Bonterra The Roost Biodynamic Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Mendocino, California
    • TP94
    3.1 5 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $38.99
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    38 99
    38 99
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