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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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  • Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
    Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from California
    • WE90
    4.1 159 Ratings
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  • Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2017  Front Label
    Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2017
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
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    • RP95
    • D95
    • WS95
    4.6 7 Ratings
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  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2017 Front Label
    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2017
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS91
    • WE91
    • JD90
    • RP90
    4.1 103 Ratings
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  • Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches Premier Cru Rouge 2017  Front Label
    Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches Premier Cru Rouge 2017
    Pinot Noir from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • D94
    • JS94
    • RP93
    • WE93
    • BH92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2017 Front Label
    Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2017
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • JD98
    • RP97
    • JS94
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Olivier Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 2017  Front Label
    Olivier Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 2017
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WE92
    • WS92
    • BH91
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  • Parducci True Grit Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Parducci True Grit Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendocino, California
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    • Beaux Freres The Beaux Freres Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
      Beaux Freres The Beaux Freres Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
      Pinot Noir from Ribbon Ridge, Willamette Valley, Oregon
      • JS96
      • WS95
      4.2 6 Ratings
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    • Novellum Chardonnay 2017 Front Label
      Novellum Chardonnay 2017
      Chardonnay from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
      • JD92
      3.7 47 Ratings
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    • Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Olivets 2017 Front Label
      Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Olivets 2017
      Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
      • WS93
      • RP93
      • JD93
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    • Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
      Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay 2017
      Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
      • JS96
      • JD94
      • RP93
      4.2 45 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $37.99
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      48
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    • Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2017  Front Label
      Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2017
      Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
      • RP93
      • JS93
      • BH93
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $144.99
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    • Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserve 2017  Front Label
      Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserve 2017
      Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
      • RP95
      • JD95
      • D94
      0.0 0 Ratings
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    • Jean-Paul Brun Domaine des Terres Dorees Morgon Cote du Py Javernieres 2017 Front Label
      Jean-Paul Brun Domaine des Terres Dorees Morgon Cote du Py Javernieres 2017
      Gamay from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
      • JS94
      • RP93
      • V93
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $28.99
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      28 99
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    • Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
      Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Santa Margarita Ranch, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
      • WW90
      4.3 22 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $17.99
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      22
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    • Di Majo Norante Sangiovese 2017  Front Label
      Di Majo Norante Sangiovese 2017
      Sangiovese from Italy
      • JS90
      3.9 48 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $9.99
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      15
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    • ZD Wines Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
      ZD Wines Chardonnay 2017
      Chardonnay from California
      • WW90
      4.3 13 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $41.99
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    • Merryvale Carneros Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
      Merryvale Carneros Chardonnay 2017
      Chardonnay from Carneros, California
      • WE92
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $32.99
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      35
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    • Folie a Deux Russian River Chardonnay 2017 Front Label
      Folie a Deux Russian River Chardonnay 2017
      Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
      • TP92
      3.9 24 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $11.99
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      18
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    • Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
      Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017
      Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
      • JS92
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $26.99
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    • Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge 2017  Front Label
      Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge 2017
      Mourvedre from Bandol, Provence, France
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      • Staglin Salus Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
        Staglin Salus Chardonnay 2017
        Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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          Currently Unavailable $59.99
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          59 99
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        • Dominio de Pingus Psi 2017  Front Label
          Dominio de Pingus Psi 2017
          Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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          • Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Zinfandel 2017 Front Label
            Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Zinfandel 2017
            Zinfandel from Santa Margarita Ranch, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
            • WW89
            4.0 27 Ratings
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          • Clos Henri Sauvignon Blanc 2017  Front Label
            Clos Henri Sauvignon Blanc 2017
            Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
            • JS94
            • WW91
            • WE90
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $24.99
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