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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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18 Items
  • Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 2013  Front Label
    Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 2013
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS94
    • WE93
    • RP91
    4.5 14 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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  • Ramey Pedregal Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Front Label
    Ramey Pedregal Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
    • WW98
    • RP95
    • V95
    • WS94
    • D94
    • JS92
    4.3 16 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $209.99
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    209 99
    209 99
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  • Calendal Cotes du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu 2013 Front Label
    Calendal Cotes du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu 2013
    Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone Villages, Rhone, France
    • RP92
    3.5 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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    29
    18 99
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  • Ferrari Perle 2013  Front Label
    Ferrari Perle 2013
    Vintage Sparkling Wine from Trentino, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
    • JS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $32.99
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    32 99
    32 99
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  • Bodegas Luzon Altos de Luzon 2013  Front Label
    Bodegas Luzon Altos de Luzon 2013
    Other Red Blends from Jumilla, Spain
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    • Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Front Label
      Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $99.99
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        99 99
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      • Il Palagio Sister Moon 2013  Front Label
        Il Palagio Sister Moon 2013
        Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
        • JS93
        • RP90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $59.99
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        59 99
        59 99
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      • Reyneke Capstone 2013 Front Label
        Reyneke Capstone 2013
        Bordeaux Red Blends from South Africa
        • RP93
        • JD92
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $35.99
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        35 99
        35 99
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      • Pinol Ludovicus Tinto 2013 Front Label
        Pinol Ludovicus Tinto 2013
        Grenache from Terra Alta, Spain
        • JS92
        • RP90
        4.1 13 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $13.99
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        13 99
        13 99
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      • Pewsey Vale Museum Reserve The Contours Riesling 2013  Front Label
        Pewsey Vale Museum Reserve The Contours Riesling 2013
        Riesling from Eden Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
        • WS90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $37.99
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        37 99
        37 99
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      • J. Lohr Highlands Bench Pinot Noir 2013 Front Label
        J. Lohr Highlands Bench Pinot Noir 2013
        Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $54.99
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          54 99
          54 99
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        • Joan d'Anguera Finca L'Argata 2013 Front Label
          Joan d'Anguera Finca L'Argata 2013
          Other Red Blends from Spain
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $39.99
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            39 99
            39 99
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          • Can Rafols dels Caus Terraprima Red 2013 Front Label
            Can Rafols dels Caus Terraprima Red 2013
            Other Red Blends from Spain
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $17.99
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              17 99
              17 99
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            • Carmel Road First Row Pinot Noir 2013 Front Label
              Carmel Road First Row Pinot Noir 2013
              Pinot Noir from Arroyo Seco, Monterey, Central Coast, California
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $39.99
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                39 99
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              • Storybook Mountain Antaeus 2013 Front Label
                Storybook Mountain Antaeus 2013
                Other Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
                • CG92
                • W&S91
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $49.99
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                49 99
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              • Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2013 Front Label
                Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2013
                Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
                • JS93
                • RP91
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $47.99
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                47 99
                47 99
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              • Alexander The Great Cabernet Sauvignon (OU Kosher) 2013 Front Label
                Alexander The Great Cabernet Sauvignon (OU Kosher) 2013
                Cabernet Sauvignon from Israel
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $79.99
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                  79 99
                  79 99
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                • Habit Pinot Noir 2013 Front Label
                  Habit Pinot Noir 2013
                  Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
                  • W&S90
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $49.99
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                  49 99
                  49 99
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