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Green / Sustainable Wine & Spirits

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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    Bonterra Organically Grown Chardonnay 1998
    Chardonnay from California
    • WE90
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    Currently Unavailable $12.99
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    13 99
    12 99
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    Zind-Humbrecht Clos Windsbuhl Pinot Gris 1998
    Pinot Gris/Grigio from Alsace, France
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      Currently Unavailable $35.99
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      52 99
      35 99
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      Zind-Humbrecht Pinot d'Alsace 1998
      Other White Blends from Alsace, France
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        Currently Unavailable $26.99
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        26 99
        26 99
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        Henschke Mt. Edelstone Shiraz 1998
        Syrah/Shiraz from Australia
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          Currently Unavailable $69.99
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          79 99
          69 99
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        • Zind-Humbrecht Guberschwir Riesling 1998
          Riesling from Alsace, France
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            Currently Unavailable $24.99
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            26 49
            24 99
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          • d'Arenberg Olive Grove Chardonnay 1998
            Chardonnay from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
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              15 49
              15 49
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              Zind-Humbrecht Rangen de Thann Clos St. Urbain Grand Cru Riesling 1998
              Riesling from Alsace, France
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                Currently Unavailable $67.49
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                75 99
                67 49
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                Zind-Humbrecht Hengst Gewurztraminer 1998
                Gewurztraminer from Alsace, France
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                  Currently Unavailable $54.49
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                  54 49
                  54 49
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                • Zind-Humbrecht Brand Grand Cru Riesling 1998
                  Riesling from Alsace, France
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                    Currently Unavailable $58.49
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                    58 49
                    58 49
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                  • d'Arenberg Noble Riesling 1998
                    Riesling from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
                    • RP90
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                    Currently Unavailable $31.99
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                    31 99
                    31 99
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                  • WillaKenzie Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 1998
                    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
                    • WE87
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                    Currently Unavailable $23.49
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                    23 49
                    23 49
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                    Zind-Humbrecht Heimbourg Pinot Gris 1998
                    Pinot Gris/Grigio from Alsace, France
                    • WS91
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                    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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                    34 99
                    34 99
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                    Zind-Humbrecht Herrenweg Pinot Gris 1998
                    Pinot Gris/Grigio from Alsace, France
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                      Currently Unavailable $36.99
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                      39 49
                      36 99
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                      Zind-Humbrecht Clos Hauserer Riesling 1998
                      Riesling from Alsace, France
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                        Currently Unavailable $35.99
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                        35 99
                        35 99
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                      • Zind-Humbrecht Clos Windsbuhl Gewurztraminer 1998
                        Gewurztraminer from Alsace, France
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                          Currently Unavailable $52.99
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                          52 99
                          52 99
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                        • Bonterra Mendocino County Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
                          Cabernet Sauvignon from North Coast, California
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                            Currently Unavailable $22.99
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                            22 99
                            22 99
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                            Juve Y Camps Reserva de la Familia Cava Brut Nature 1998
                            Vintage Sparkling Wine from Spain
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                              Currently Unavailable $18.99
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                              18 99
                              18 99
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                            • d'Arenberg Vintage Shiraz Port 1998
                              Port from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
                              • WS88
                              0.0 0 Ratings
                              Currently Unavailable $30.49
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                              33 99
                              30 49
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                              Vietti Perbacco Nebbiolo delle Langhe 1998
                              Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy
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                                Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                                19 99
                                19 99
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                              • Flat front label of wine
                                d'Arenberg d'Arry's Original Shiraz/Grenache 1998
                                Rhone Red Blends from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
                                • JS93
                                • RP91
                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                                17 99
                                17 99
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                              • Zind-Humbrecht Heimbourg Gewurztraminer 1998
                                Gewurztraminer from Alsace, France
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                                  Currently Unavailable $49.99
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                                  49 99
                                  49 99
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                                • Flat front label of wine
                                  Zind-Humbrecht Rotenberg Pinot Gris 1998
                                  Pinot Gris/Grigio from Alsace, France
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                                    Currently Unavailable $45.99
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                                    45 99
                                    45 99
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                                    Zind-Humbrecht Turckheim Riesling 1998
                                    Riesling from Alsace, France
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                                      Currently Unavailable $27.99
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                                      27 99
                                      27 99
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                                    • Flat front label of wine
                                      Zind-Humbrecht Herrenweg Gewurztraminer 1998
                                      Gewurztraminer from Alsace, France
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                                        Currently Unavailable $33.99
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                                        33 99
                                        33 99
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                                      • Flat front label of wine
                                        Capezzana Barco Reale 1998
                                        Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
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                                          Currently Unavailable $15.99
                                          Try the 2014 Vintage 17 99
                                          15 99
                                          15 99
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