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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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    Bodegas Luzon Altos de Luzon 2002
    Other Red Blends from Spain
    • WS89
    3.8 9 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $23.99
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    Wirra Wirra McLaren Vale Shiraz 2002
    Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
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      Currently Unavailable $34.99
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      Bollinger R.D. Extra Brut with Gift Box 2002
      Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
      • JS99
      • WW98
      • W&S97
      • WS96
      • D94
      4.8 9 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $349.99
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      375
      349 99
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      Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (6 Liter Bottle) 2002
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
      • RP90
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $999.00
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      Yalumba Barossa Shiraz 2002
      Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
      • W&S89
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      Currently Unavailable $19.79
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      19 79
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      WillaKenzie Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2002
      Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
      • WS90
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $25.00
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      25
      25
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      Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2002
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • RP91
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $279.00
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      279
      279
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      Yalumba The Octavius Old Vine Shiraz 2002
      Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
      • RP97
      • WE93
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $129.99
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      129 99
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      Yalumba Y Series Merlot 2002
      Merlot from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
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        11 99
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        Wirra Wirra Scrubby Rise Red 2002
        Other Red Blends from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
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          Currently Unavailable $13.99
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          13 99
          13 99
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          d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2002
          Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
          • RP92
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $69.99
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          69 99
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        • Yalumba Hand-Picked Mourvedre Grenache Shiraz 2002
          Rhone Red Blends from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
          • RP94
          • W&S93
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $37.99
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          37 99
          37 99
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          Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2002
          Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
          • WS88
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $44.99
          Try the 2015 Vintage 56 99
          44 99
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          Henschke Mt. Edelstone Shiraz 2002
          Syrah/Shiraz from Australia
          • RP96
          • WS94
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $99.99
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          Chateau de Beaucastel Coudoulet Rouge 2002
          Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
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            Currently Unavailable $22.99
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            22 99
            22 99
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          • Vietti Cascinetta Moscato d'Asti 2002
            Muscat from Asti, Piedmont, Italy
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              Currently Unavailable $14.99
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              Wirra Wirra Scrubby Rise Shiraz 2002
              Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
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                Currently Unavailable $10.99
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                10 99
                10 99
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                M. Chapoutier Cotes du Rhone Belleruche Rouge 2002
                Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
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                  Currently Unavailable $12.79
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                  12 79
                  12 79
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                  d'Arenberg The Stump Jump White 2002
                  Other White Blends from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
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                    Currently Unavailable $11.99
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                    12 99
                    11 99
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                    Bodegas Muga Reserva 2002
                    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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                      Currently Unavailable $22.99
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                      22 99
                      22 99
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                      Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2002
                      Viognier from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
                      • WE89
                      • WS88
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $10.99
                      Try the 2018 Vintage 12 99
                      11 99
                      10 99
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                      Wirra Wirra Scrubby Rise White 2002
                      Other White Blends from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $12.99
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                        12 99
                        12 99
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                      • Elk Cove Pinot Gris 2002
                        Pinot Gris/Grigio from Willamette Valley, Oregon
                        • WE91
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                        16 99
                        13 99
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                        Bonterra Organically Grown Viognier 2002
                        Viognier from North Coast, California
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                          Currently Unavailable $23.99
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                          23 99
                          23 99
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                          Bonterra Organically Grown Merlot 2002
                          Merlot from North Coast, California
                          • WE90
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $16.99
                          Try the 2016 Vintage 13 99
                          16 99
                          16 99
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