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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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  • Hall Coeur Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
    Hall Coeur Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
    • WW98
    • WS94
    • WE91
    4.2 9 Ratings
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  • Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
    Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WW94
    4.7 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $124.99
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  • Querciabella Chianti Classico 2015 Front Label
    Querciabella Chianti Classico 2015
    Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
    • D97
    • JS92
    • WS92
    • W&S91
    • RP90
    3.8 77 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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  • Kathryn Kennedy Lateral 2015  Front Label
    Kathryn Kennedy Lateral 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    • Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Front Label
      Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • D96
      • WE92
      • JS91
      4.6 10 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $69.99
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    • Long Meadow Ranch Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 2015 Front Label
      Long Meadow Ranch Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 2015
      Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
      • WE93
      3.9 6 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    • Charly Thevenet Regnie Grain and Granit 2015 Front Label
      Charly Thevenet Regnie Grain and Granit 2015
      Gamay from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
      • JS94
      4.7 5 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $36.99
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    • Eisele Vineyard Altagracia Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Front Label
      Eisele Vineyard Altagracia Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • WW96
      • JS95
      • RP94
      3.9 6 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $164.99
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    • Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015  Front Label
      Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
      • WW92
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $184.97
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    • Argyle Reserve Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2015 Front Label
      Argyle Reserve Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2015
      Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
      • JS93
      • WW92
      • WS90
      4.0 19 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $24.99
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    • Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico Riserva Berardo 2015  Front Label
      Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico Riserva Berardo 2015
      Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
      • JS98
      • WS93
      • RP91
      4.0 20 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $37.99
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      37 99
      37 99
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    • Sixto Moxee Vineyard Chardonnay 2015 Front Label
      Sixto Moxee Vineyard Chardonnay 2015
      Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
      • RP94
      • JD94
      • WE93
      • WS92
      4.1 7 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $42.99
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    • Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard La Source Pinot Noir 2015 Front Label
      Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard La Source Pinot Noir 2015
      Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
      • WS94
      • W&S93
      • RP92
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $79.99
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    • Quinta do Crasto Douro Superior Red 2015 Front Label
      Quinta do Crasto Douro Superior Red 2015
      Other Red Blends from Portugal
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $28.99
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      • Markham Cellar 1879 Napa Valley Red Blend 2015 Front Label
        Markham Cellar 1879 Napa Valley Red Blend 2015
        Other Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
        • RP91
        4.1 8 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $26.99
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        26 99
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      • Andre Brunel Cotes du Rhone Villages Cuvee Sabrine 2015 Front Label
        Andre Brunel Cotes du Rhone Villages Cuvee Sabrine 2015
        Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone Villages, Rhone, France
        • RP92
        3.8 13 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $17.99
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        17 99
        17 99
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      • Tormaresca Torcicoda Primitivo 2015  Front Label
        Tormaresca Torcicoda Primitivo 2015
        Primitivo from Italy
        • JS91
        4.4 8 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $21.99
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        21 99
        21 99
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      • Sixto Frenchman Hills Chardonnay 2015 Front Label
        Sixto Frenchman Hills Chardonnay 2015
        Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
        • RP93
        • JD93
        • WS91
        • WE91
        3.6 7 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $42.99
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        55
        42 99
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      • Hacienda Araucano Clos de Lolol Red 2015  Front Label
        Hacienda Araucano Clos de Lolol Red 2015
        Other Red Blends from Chile
        • JS95
        • TA91
        4.1 6 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $26.99
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        26 99
        26 99
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      • Klein Constantia Vin de Constance (500ML) 2015 Front Label
        Klein Constantia Vin de Constance (500ML) 2015
        Other Dessert from South Africa
        • D96
        • WS93
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $94.99
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      • Domaine de la Taille Aux Loups Montlouis sur Loire Les Hauts de Husseau 2015 Front Label
        Domaine de la Taille Aux Loups Montlouis sur Loire Les Hauts de Husseau 2015
        Chenin Blanc from Montlouis, Touraine, Loire, France
        • WS93
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $39.99
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        39 99
        39 99
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      • Argyle Brut 2015 Front Label
        Argyle Brut 2015
        Vintage Sparkling Wine from Willamette Valley, Oregon
        • W&S90
        4.4 9 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $23.99
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        28
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      • GEN5 Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Front Label
        GEN5 Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Lodi, California
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $13.99
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          13 99
          13 99
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        • Sixto Roza Hills Chardonnay 2015  Front Label
          Sixto Roza Hills Chardonnay 2015
          Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
          • JD94
          • RP93
          • WS92
          • WE91
          3.5 15 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $47.99
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          55
          47 99
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        • Yalumba The Signature Cabernet/Shiraz 2015  Front Label
          Yalumba The Signature Cabernet/Shiraz 2015
          Other Red Blends from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
          • JS93
          • WE93
          • WW92
          • W&S92
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $59.99
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          70
          59 99
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