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Green / Sustainable Wine & Spirits

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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  • Chateau Pontet-Canet (6-Pack OWC Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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    Honig Sauvignon Blanc 2018
    Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California
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    Miraval Rose 2018
    Rosé from Cotes de Provence, Provence, France
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    Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2018
    Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
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      Bodega Chacra Barda Pinot Noir 2018
      Pinot Noir from Patagonia, Argentina
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      Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc 2018
      Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
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      Craggy Range Winery Te Muna Road Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2018
      Sauvignon Blanc from Martinborough, New Zealand
      • JS93
      • D91
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      4.3 34 Ratings
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      Pascal Jolivet Sancerre 2018
      Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, Loire, France
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        Vigilance Sauvignon Blanc 2018
        Sauvignon Blanc from Red Hills, Lake County, North Coast, California
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        3.7 32 Ratings
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        Esk Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2018
        Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
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        Rodney Strong Rose of Pinot Noir 2018
        Rosé from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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        St. Supery Moscato 2018
        Muscat from Napa Valley, California
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          Sigalas Am Assyrtiko-Monemvasia Santorini 2018
          Assyrtiko from Santorini, Greece
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            Domaine Bousquet Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
            • JS90
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            Santa Julia Organica Malbec 2018
            Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
              3.8 23 Ratings
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              Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc 2018
              Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
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              4.4 27 Ratings
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              Ziobaffa Organic Pinot Grigio 2018
              Pinot Gris/Grigio from Puglia, Italy
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                Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc 2018
                Sauvignon Blanc from Canterbury, New Zealand
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                Bonterra Organically Grown Sauvignon Blanc 2018
                Sauvignon Blanc from California
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                  Mas de Daumas Gassac Vin de Pays de l'Herault Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Rose 2018
                  Rosé from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
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                    Vavasour Sauvignon Blanc 2018
                    Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
                    • WW91
                    4.3 13 Ratings
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                    McManis Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2018
                    Pinot Noir from California
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                      Tiamo Pinot Grigio 2018
                      Pinot Gris/Grigio from Veneto, Italy
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                        Grgich Hills Estate Rose 2018
                        Rosé from Napa Valley, California
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                          Santa Julia Organica Tempranillo 2018
                          Tempranillo from Mendoza, Argentina
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