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Green / Sustainable Wine

Natural Wine, Organic & Sustainable Defined ...

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Wines marked with the green leaf icon, reds, whites, sparkling, and so on, 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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  • d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz (stained labels) 1998 Front Label
    d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz (stained labels) 1998
    Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • RP94
    • WS93
    • W&S93
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  • Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz 1998  Front Label
    Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz 1998
    Syrah/Shiraz from Eden Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • WE94
    • JS93
    • WS93
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    669 97
    669 97
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  • d'Arenberg The Ironstone Pressings 1998 Front Label
    d'Arenberg The Ironstone Pressings 1998
    Rhone Red Blends from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • RP92
    • W&S92
    • WS90
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    61 49
    53 99
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  • Zind-Humbrecht Guberschwir Riesling 1998
    Riesling from Alsace, France
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    • Zind-Humbrecht Herrenweg Pinot Gris 1998 Front Label
      Zind-Humbrecht Herrenweg Pinot Gris 1998
      Pinot Gris/Grigio from Alsace, France
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        31 99
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      • Zind-Humbrecht Brand Grand Cru Riesling 1998
        Riesling from Alsace, France
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          59 99
          59 99
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        • Zind-Humbrecht Clos Windsbuhl Gewurztraminer 1998
          Gewurztraminer from Alsace, France
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            52 99
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          • Zind-Humbrecht Rangen de Thann Clos St. Urbain Grand Cru Riesling 1998 Front Label
            Zind-Humbrecht Rangen de Thann Clos St. Urbain Grand Cru Riesling 1998
            Riesling from Alsace, France
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              75 99
              67 49
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            • Zind-Humbrecht Hengst Gewurztraminer 1998 Front Label
              Zind-Humbrecht Hengst Gewurztraminer 1998
              Gewurztraminer from Alsace, France
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                Currently Unavailable $55.99
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                55 99
                55 99
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              • Zind-Humbrecht Clos Hauserer Riesling 1998 Front Label
                Zind-Humbrecht Clos Hauserer Riesling 1998
                Riesling from Alsace, France
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                  36 99
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                • Zind-Humbrecht Rotenberg Pinot Gris 1998 Front Label
                  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 Heimbourg Riesling 1998 Front Label
                    Zind-Humbrecht Heimbourg Riesling 1998
                    Riesling from Alsace, France
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                      Currently Unavailable $48.99
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                      48 99
                      48 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
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                      • Zind-Humbrecht Herrenweg Gewurztraminer 1998 Front Label
                        Zind-Humbrecht Herrenweg Gewurztraminer 1998
                        Gewurztraminer from Alsace, France
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                          Currently Unavailable $33.99
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                          33 99
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                        • Clark-Claudon Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 Front Label
                          Clark-Claudon Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
                          Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
                          • RP94
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                          Currently Unavailable $68.97
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                          90
                          68 97
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                        • Bonterra Organically Grown Merlot 1998
                          Merlot from North Coast, California
                          • WS86
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                          Currently Unavailable $26.49
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                          26 49
                          26 49
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                        • WillaKenzie Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 1998
                          Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
                          • WE87
                          0.0 0 Ratings
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                          Currently Unavailable $19.49
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                          19 49
                          19 49
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                        • Veuve Clicquot Vintage Brut Rose 1998 Front Label
                          Veuve Clicquot Vintage Brut Rose 1998
                          Sparkling Rosé from Champagne, France
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                            Currently Unavailable $79.99
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                            79 99
                            79 99
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                          • Zind-Humbrecht Heimbourg Pinot Gris 1998 Front Label
                            Zind-Humbrecht Heimbourg Pinot Gris 1998
                            Pinot Gris/Grigio from Alsace, France
                            • WS91
                            0.0 0 Ratings
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                            Currently Unavailable $34.99
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                            34 99
                            34 99
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                          • Clark-Claudon Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L Magnum) 1998  Front Label
                            Clark-Claudon Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L Magnum) 1998
                            Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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                              Currently Unavailable $119.97
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                              119 97
                              119 97
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                            • Zind-Humbrecht Clos Windsbuhl Pinot Gris 1998 Front Label
                              Zind-Humbrecht Clos Windsbuhl Pinot Gris 1998
                              Pinot Gris/Grigio from Alsace, France
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                                52 99
                                35 99
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                              • Henschke Mount Edelstone Shiraz 1998 Front Label
                                Henschke Mount Edelstone Shiraz 1998
                                Syrah/Shiraz from Eden Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
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                                  Currently Unavailable $69.99
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                                  79 99
                                  69 99
                                  Save $10.00 (13%)
                                • Zind-Humbrecht Turckheim Riesling 1998 Front Label
                                  Zind-Humbrecht Turckheim Riesling 1998
                                  Riesling from Alsace, France
                                    0.0 0 Ratings
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                                    Currently Unavailable $27.99
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                                    27 99
                                    27 99
                                    Save $0.50 (2%)
                                  • Capezzana Barco Reale 1998 Front Label
                                    Capezzana Barco Reale 1998
                                    Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
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                                      Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                                      15 99
                                      15 99
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                                    • d'Arenberg Noble Riesling (half-bottle) 1998
                                      Riesling from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
                                      • RP90
                                      0.0 0 Ratings
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                                      Currently Unavailable $36.99
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                                      36 99
                                      36 99
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