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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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  • Double Canyon Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Double Canyon Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • JS92
    • WE90
    3.9 262 Ratings
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  • Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • JS96
    • WW93
    4.4 20 Ratings
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  • Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WW92
    • WE92
    • W&S92
    4.4 36 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $58.99
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  • Donnafugata Mille e una Notte 2017  Front Label
    Donnafugata Mille e una Notte 2017
    Nero d'Avola from Sicily, Italy
    • JS94
    • RP93
    4.9 25 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $84.99
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  • Ziobaffa Organic Toscana 2017  Front Label
    Ziobaffa Organic Toscana 2017
    Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS91
    4.3 79 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $12.99
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    14 99
    12 99
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  • Hall Ellie's Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Hall Ellie's Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WW93
    4.0 13 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $74.99
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    85
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  • Ponzi Laurelwood District Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
    Ponzi Laurelwood District Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS93
    • WS93
    • WE92
    3.7 20 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $40.99
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    45
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  • Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2017  Front Label
    Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2017
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS94
    • RP93
    • WE92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $73.99
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    73 99
    73 99
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  • Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2017  Front Label
    Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2017
    Sangiovese from Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS93
    • WE93
    3.8 12 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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    26 99
    26 99
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  • Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 2017  Front Label
    Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 2017
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • RP93
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $53.99
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    60
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  • Azelia Barolo Cerretta 2017  Front Label
    Azelia Barolo Cerretta 2017
    Nebbiolo from Serralunga d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy
    • JS98
    • WS96
    • JD94
    • RP94
    • WE92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $119.99
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    119 99
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  • Robert Sinskey Abraxas 2017  Front Label
    Robert Sinskey Abraxas 2017
    Other White Blends from Carneros, California
      4.2 8 Ratings
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      Currently Unavailable $35.99
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      35 99
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    • Opaque Darkness Red Wine 2017  Front Label
      Opaque Darkness Red Wine 2017
      Other Red Blends from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
      • WE90
      4.0 130 Ratings
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      Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    • Zinfandelic Sierra Foothills Old Vine Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
      Zinfandelic Sierra Foothills Old Vine Zinfandel 2017
      Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
      • TP91
      • WE90
      3.7 273 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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      19 99
      19 99
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    • Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
      Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • WW93
      4.0 13 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $75.99
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      75 99
      75 99
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    • Sottimano Barbaresco Cotta 2017  Front Label
      Sottimano Barbaresco Cotta 2017
      Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
      • WE95
      • RP94
      0.0 0 Ratings
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      Currently Unavailable $73.99
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      73 99
      73 99
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    • Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs 2017  Front Label
      Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs 2017
      Vintage Sparkling Wine from North Coast, California
      • TP93
      • WE92
      • CG91
      4.2 18 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $37.99
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      43
      37 99
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    • Folie a Deux Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
      Folie a Deux Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
      • JS92
      3.7 47 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $21.99
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      21 99
      21 99
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    • Gerard Bertrand Clos d'Ora Rouge 2017  Front Label
      Gerard Bertrand Clos d'Ora Rouge 2017
      Rhone Red Blends from Minervois La Liviniere, Minervois, Languedoc, South of France, France
      • RP93
      0.0 0 Ratings
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      Currently Unavailable $249.99
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      249 99
      249 99
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    • Jaboulet Les Jalets Rouge Crozes-Hermitage 2017  Front Label
      Jaboulet Les Jalets Rouge Crozes-Hermitage 2017
      Syrah/Shiraz from Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone, France
        4.1 7 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $28.99
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        28 99
        28 99
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      • Seresin Leah Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
        Seresin Leah Pinot Noir 2017
        Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
        • D93
        • V92
        • RP91
        3.5 9 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $29.99
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        29 99
        29 99
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      • Argyle Brut 2017  Front Label
        Argyle Brut 2017
        Vintage Sparkling Wine from Willamette Valley, Oregon
        • WE91
        • WS90
        4.1 16 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $23.99
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        28
        23 99
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      • Zorzal Eggo Tinto de Tiza 2017  Front Label
        Zorzal Eggo Tinto de Tiza 2017
        Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
        • RP94
        • WE93
        2.9 36 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $29.99
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        29 99
        29 99
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      • Gerard Bertrand Corbieres 2017  Front Label
        Gerard Bertrand Corbieres 2017
        Rhone Red Blends from Corbieres, Languedoc, South of France, France
        • WS89
        3.6 25 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $15.99
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        17
        15 99
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      • Groth Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
        Groth Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
        • WE95
        • JS94
        • WS93
        4.6 9 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $165.00
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        165
        165
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