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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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  • Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
    Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • RP93
    • WW93
    • CG90
    4.4 49 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $41.99
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  • Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WW90
    4.1 18 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $54.99
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    65
    54 99
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  • Vigilance Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Vigilance Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Red Hills, Lake County, North Coast, California
      3.9 336 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $13.99
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      13 99
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    • Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
      Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay 2017
      Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
      • V94
      • WS91
      4.3 98 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $51.99
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      58
      51 99
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    • Gerard Bertrand Chateau L'Hospitalet Grand Vin Rouge 2017  Front Label
      Gerard Bertrand Chateau L'Hospitalet Grand Vin Rouge 2017
      Rhone Red Blends from La Clape, Languedoc, South of France, France
      • WW91
      4.2 81 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $39.99
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      50
      39 99
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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
      • WW90
      4.2 102 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $29.99
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      29 99
      29 99
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    • Grgich Hills Estate Fume Blanc 2017  Front Label
      Grgich Hills Estate Fume Blanc 2017
      Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California
      • WW92
      • JS91
      • CG91
      4.0 95 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $24.99
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      31
      24 99
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    • Bodegas Ordonez – Toro Triton Tinta de Toro 2017  Front Label
      Bodegas Ordonez – Toro Triton Tinta de Toro 2017
      Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
      • JD93
      • JS91
      3.9 44 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $15.99
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      20
      15 99
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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
      • WW90
      3.8 78 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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      30
      19 99
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    • Chappellet Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
      Chappellet Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • RP96
      • WW96
      • JD95
      • JS93
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $279.99
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      279 99
      279 99
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    • Ponzi Tavola Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
      Ponzi Tavola Pinot Noir 2017
      Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
      • TP90
      4.0 90 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $25.99
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      27
      25 99
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    • Parducci Small Lot Petite Sirah 2017  Front Label
      Parducci Small Lot Petite Sirah 2017
      Petite Sirah from Mendocino, California
      • WE92
      3.9 33 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $12.99
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      15
      12 99
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    • Stonestreet Upper Barn Vineyard Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
      Stonestreet Upper Barn Vineyard Chardonnay 2017
      Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
      • JD98
      • RP94
      • WS91
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $109.00
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      125
      109
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    • King Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
      King Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017
      Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
      • WW91
      4.1 54 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $28.99
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      28 99
      28 99
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    • Signorello Hope's Cuvee Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
      Signorello Hope's Cuvee Chardonnay 2017
      Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
      • RP93
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $94.99
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      94 99
      94 99
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    • Unico Zelo Cherry Fields Dolcetto 2017  Front Label
      Unico Zelo Cherry Fields Dolcetto 2017
      Dolcetto from Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
      • RP90
      3.5 14 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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      30
      19 99
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    • Vina Mein Ribeiro 2017  Front Label
      Vina Mein Ribeiro 2017
      Other White Blends from Spain
      • W&S94
      • RP92
      3.9 8 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $26.99
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      26 99
      26 99
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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
      • WS93
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $139.99
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      139 99
      139 99
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    • Clos Cibonne Rose Tradition 2017  Front Label
      Clos Cibonne Rose Tradition 2017
      Rosé from Cotes de Provence, Provence, South of France, France
      • W&S93
      4.5 10 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $28.99
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      28 99
      28 99
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    • Bethel Heights Casteel Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
      Bethel Heights Casteel Pinot Noir 2017
      Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
      • WE94
      • RP94
      • WS93
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $84.99
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      84 99
      84 99
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    • Bila-Haut by Michel Chapoutier Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2017 Front Label
      Bila-Haut by Michel Chapoutier Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2017
      Rhone Red Blends from Côtes du Roussillon-Villages, Roussillon, South of France, France
      • JD92
      • RP91
      3.9 104 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $16.99
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      16 99
      16 99
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    • Markham Merlot 2017  Front Label
      Markham Merlot 2017
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
        4.1 49 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $21.99
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        25
        21 99
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      • Halter Ranch Vineyard Grenache Blanc 2017 Front Label
        Halter Ranch Vineyard Grenache Blanc 2017
        Grenache Blanc from Adelaida District, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
        • WE93
        • WW92
        3.9 16 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $29.99
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        34
        29 99
        Save $4.01 (12%)
      • Raventos i Blanc de Nit Rose 2017  Front Label
        Raventos i Blanc de Nit Rose 2017
        Rosé Sparkling Wine from Penedes, Spain
          4.4 61 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $26.99
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          26 99
          26 99
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        • Ghost Block Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
          Ghost Block Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
          • WW93
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $108.99
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          108 99
          108 99
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