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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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  • Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Rouge 2003 Front Label
    Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Rouge 2003
    Rhone Red Blends from Central Coast, California
    • RP92
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  • d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz (half-bottle) 2003 Front Label
    d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz (half-bottle) 2003
    Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • RP95
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    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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    34 99
    34 99
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  • Mad Fish Western Australia Shiraz 2003 Front Label
    Mad Fish Western Australia Shiraz 2003
    Syrah/Shiraz from Western Australia, Australia
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      14 28
      11 99
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    • Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 Front Label
      Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
        4.2 10 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $129.97
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        129 97
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      • Domaine de la Vougeraie Vougeot Clos du Prieure Blanc 2003 Front Label
        Domaine de la Vougeraie Vougeot Clos du Prieure Blanc 2003
        Chardonnay from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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          69 99
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        • Mad Fish Western Australia Chardonnay 2003 Front Label
          Mad Fish Western Australia Chardonnay 2003
          Chardonnay from Western Australia, Australia
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            Currently Unavailable $13.99
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            18 99
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          • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2003 Front Label
            Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2003
            Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
            • WS90
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $19.99
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            19 99
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          • Bodegas Muga Reserva (375ML half-bottle) 2003 Front Label
            Bodegas Muga Reserva (375ML half-bottle) 2003
            Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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              Currently Unavailable $12.99
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              12 99
              12 99
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            • d'Arenberg The Stump Jump Red 2003 Front Label
              d'Arenberg The Stump Jump Red 2003
              Rhone Red Blends from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                13 99
                13 99
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              • Tablas Creek Cotes de Tablas Rouge 2003 Front Label
                Tablas Creek Cotes de Tablas Rouge 2003
                Rhone Red Blends from Central Coast, California
                • RP91
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                Currently Unavailable $25.99
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                25 99
                25 99
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              • Robert Sinskey Merlot 2003 Front Label
                Robert Sinskey Merlot 2003
                Merlot from Carneros, California
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                  Currently Unavailable $24.99
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                  24 99
                  24 99
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                • Bodegas Muga Reserva 2003 Front Label
                  Bodegas Muga Reserva 2003
                  Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
                  • W&S94
                  3.6 5 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $23.99
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                  23 99
                  23 99
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                • Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2003 Front Label
                  Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2003
                  Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
                  • W&S92
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $39.99
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                  39 99
                  39 99
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                • Bonterra Organically Grown Viognier 2003 Front Label
                  Bonterra Organically Grown Viognier 2003
                  Viognier from North Coast, California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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                    18 99
                    18 99
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                  • WillaKenzie Estate Pierre Leon Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
                    WillaKenzie Estate Pierre Leon Pinot Noir 2003
                    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
                    • WS89
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                    Currently Unavailable $32.99
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                    36
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                  • Chateau de Saint Cosme Cote Rotie 2003 Front Label
                    Chateau de Saint Cosme Cote Rotie 2003
                    Syrah/Shiraz from Cote Rotie, Rhone, France
                    • RP93
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $89.99
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                    105
                    89 99
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                  • Vietti Barbera d'Asti La Crena 2003 Front Label
                    Vietti Barbera d'Asti La Crena 2003
                    Barbera from Asti, Piedmont, Italy
                    • RP93
                    • WS90
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $7.99
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                    35
                    7 99
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                  • Yalumba The Menzies Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 Front Label
                    Yalumba The Menzies Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
                    Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia
                    • RP94
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $42.99
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                    42 99
                    42 99
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                  • Argyle Spirithouse Pinot Noir 2003 Front Bottle Shot
                    Argyle Spirithouse Pinot Noir 2003
                    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
                    • WS92
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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                    64 99
                    64 99
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                  • Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2003  Front Label
                    Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2003
                    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                      4.0 5 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $49.97
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                      49 97
                      49 97
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                    • Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 Front Label
                      Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
                      Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
                        4.3 24 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $129.97
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                        129 97
                        129 97
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                      • Cayuse Flying Pig 2003 Front Label
                        Cayuse Flying Pig 2003
                        Bordeaux Red Blends from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
                        • WS92
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $139.00
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                        139
                        139
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                      • Inglenook Rubicon 2003 Front Label
                        Inglenook Rubicon 2003
                        Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
                        • W&S93
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $159.99
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                        159 99
                        159 99
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                      • Vasse Felix Shiraz 2003 Front Label
                        Vasse Felix Shiraz 2003
                        Syrah/Shiraz from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
                        • W&S90
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $11.29
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                        30
                        11 28
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                      • Vasse Felix Adams Road Cabernet Merlot 2003 Front Label
                        Vasse Felix Adams Road Cabernet Merlot 2003
                        Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $7.99
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                          16
                          7 99
                          Save $8.01 (50%)
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