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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 2018  Front Label
    Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from California
    • WE90
    4.1 847 Ratings
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  • Cellier des Dauphins Reserve Cotes du Rhone 2018  Front Label
    Cellier des Dauphins Reserve Cotes du Rhone 2018
    Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
    • D97
    4.0 297 Ratings
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  • Wente Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Wente Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Livermore Valley, Central Coast, California
      4.2 67 Ratings
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    • Hahn Monterey Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
      Hahn Monterey Pinot Noir 2018
      Pinot Noir from Monterey, Central Coast, California
      • WW89
      3.9 205 Ratings
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      15
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    • J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
      J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
      • WE91
      • WW89
      4.3 89 Ratings
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      17
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    • Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
      Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir 2018
      Pinot Noir from California
      • WW90
      • WE90
      3.8 446 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $12.99
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    • Hahn SLH Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
      Hahn SLH Pinot Noir 2018
      Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
      • TP93
      • WE91
      4.1 84 Ratings
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      30
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    • Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2018  Front Label
      Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2018
      Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
      • JS92
      • RP91
      • WW91
      3.8 210 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $21.99
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      25
      21 99
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    • Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
      Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay 2018
      Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
        4.3 31 Ratings
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      • St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Front Label
        St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc 2018
        Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California
        • TP95
        • W&S93
        • WW91
        • WS90
        4.1 516 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $18.99
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        22
        18 99
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      • Errazuriz Max Reserva Carmenere 2018  Front Label
        Errazuriz Max Reserva Carmenere 2018
        Carmenere from Aconcagua Valley, Chile
        • JS92
        • RP90
        3.8 105 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $15.99
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      • Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
        Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
        Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
        • WS92
        • WE91
        3.9 177 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $19.99
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      • Gundlach Bundschu Mountain Cuvee 2018  Front Label
        Gundlach Bundschu Mountain Cuvee 2018
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
          4.1 67 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $17.99
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        • Il Palagio Roxanne Toscana Rosso 2018  Front Label
          Il Palagio Roxanne Toscana Rosso 2018
          Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
          • JS93
          • WW91
          4.0 62 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $21.99
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          21 99
          21 99
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        • Frog's Leap Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2018  Front Label
          Frog's Leap Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2018
          Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California
          • WW92
          4.2 79 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $27.99
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          27 99
          27 99
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        • MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
          MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2018
          Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
          • JS92
          • WW90
          3.9 249 Ratings
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        • Chateau de Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone Les Deux Albions 2018  Front Label
          Chateau de Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone Les Deux Albions 2018
          Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
          • WE89
          4.1 11 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $24.99
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          24 99
          24 99
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        • Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
          Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Santa Margarita Ranch, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
          • WW90
          4.1 11 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $18.99
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          22
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        • Loveblock Pinot Noir 2018 Front Label
          Loveblock Pinot Noir 2018
          Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
          • WS93
          • WE90
          3.9 135 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $31.99
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          31 99
          31 99
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        • Dashwood Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
          Dashwood Pinot Noir 2018
          Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
          • JS90
          3.8 7 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $15.99
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          15 99
          15 99
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        • Vasse Felix Filius Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
          Vasse Felix Filius Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
          • WW90
          4.1 34 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $27.99
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          27 99
          27 99
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        • Do Ferreiro Cepas Vellas Albarino 2018  Front Label
          Do Ferreiro Cepas Vellas Albarino 2018
          Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain
          • RP96
          • W&S92
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $57.99
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          57 99
          57 99
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        • Ornellaia Le Volte dell'Ornellaia 2018  Front Label
          Ornellaia Le Volte dell'Ornellaia 2018
          Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
          • JD90
          3.8 13 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $29.99
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          34
          29 99
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        • Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
          Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2018
          Chardonnay from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
          • RP91
          • JD90
          4.1 152 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $19.99
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          19 99
          19 99
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        • Donnhoff Estate Riesling 2018  Front Label
          Donnhoff Estate Riesling 2018
          Riesling from Nahe, Germany
          • WW90
          4.0 72 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $25.99
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          25 99
          25 99
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