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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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  • Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir 2020  Front Label
    Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir 2020
    Pinot Noir from California
    • WE92
    3.9 89 Ratings
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  • Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
    Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay 2020
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
    • JS91
    • WW90
    • WS90
    4.3 12 Ratings
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  • Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
    Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2020
    Chardonnay from California
    • WE91
    4.0 136 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    17
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  • Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
    Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay 2020
    Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
    • V94
    • WE90
    • JD90
    3.8 27 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    22
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  • Couvent des Jacobins (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020  Front Label
    Couvent des Jacobins (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
    • JS96
    • RP94
    • D92
    • JD92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $36.97
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    36 97
    36 97
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  • Novellum Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
    Novellum Chardonnay 2020
    Chardonnay from Vin de France, France
    • JD94
    4.1 162 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    14 99
    14 99
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  • Alamos Malbec 2020  Front Label
    Alamos Malbec 2020
    Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
    • JS91
    • RP90
    3.7 149 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $10.99
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    13
    10 99
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  • Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
    Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2020
    Chardonnay from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • JD90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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    18 99
    18 99
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  • Botromagno Primitivo 2020  Front Label
    Botromagno Primitivo 2020
    Primitivo from Puglia, Italy
      4.0 14 Ratings
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      21 99
      21 99
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    • J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
      J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay 2020
      Chardonnay from Arroyo Seco, Monterey, Central Coast, California
      • SJ93
      • WE90
      3.9 59 Ratings
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      Currently Unavailable $12.99
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      14
      12 99
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    • Chateau Langlet Sauvignon Blanc 2020  Front Label
      Chateau Langlet Sauvignon Blanc 2020
      Sauvignon Blanc from Graves, Bordeaux, France
      • WE90
      4.4 60 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $23.99
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      35
      23 99
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    • Parducci True Grit Reserve Petite Sirah 2020  Front Label
      Parducci True Grit Reserve Petite Sirah 2020
      Petite Sirah from Mendocino, California
      • WE91
      4.2 10 Ratings
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      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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      30
      19 99
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    • MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
      MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2020
      Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • WS92
      0.0 0 Ratings
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      Currently Unavailable $25.99
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      25 99
      25 99
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    • Parducci Small Lot Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
      Parducci Small Lot Chardonnay 2020
      Chardonnay from Mendocino, California
      • WW89
      3.8 32 Ratings
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      Currently Unavailable $14.99
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      14 99
      14 99
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    • Chateau Saint-Andre Corbin  2020  Front Label
      Chateau Saint-Andre Corbin 2020
      Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
      • JS92
      • WE92
      5.0 21 Ratings
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      Currently Unavailable $26.99
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      39
      26 99
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    • Chateau Haut-Colombier Blanc 2020  Front Label
      Chateau Haut-Colombier Blanc 2020
      Bordeaux White Blends from Bordeaux, France
      • WW89
      4.3 48 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $17.99
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      30
      17 99
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    • Chateau Pontet-Canet (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020  Front Label
      Chateau Pontet-Canet (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
      • JS99
      • RP98
      • WE98
      • D97
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $110.97
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      110 97
      110 97
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    • Joseph Drouhin St. Veran 2020  Front Label
      Joseph Drouhin St. Veran 2020
      Chardonnay from St-Veran, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
        4.5 19 Ratings
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        Currently Unavailable $23.99
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        23 99
        23 99
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      • Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Carmenere Reserva 2020  Front Label
        Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Carmenere Reserva 2020
        Carmenere from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
          4.5 25 Ratings
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          18 99
          17 99
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        • Shannon Ridge High Elevation Cabernet Sauvignon 2020  Front Label
          Shannon Ridge High Elevation Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Lake County, North Coast, California
            3.8 18 Ratings
            Regular price
            Currently Unavailable $13.99
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            23
            13 99
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          • Candoni Organic Pinot Noir 2020  Front Label
            Candoni Organic Pinot Noir 2020
            Pinot Noir from Lombardy, Italy
              0.0 0 Ratings
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              Currently Unavailable $15.99
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              15 99
              15 99
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            • Terrazas de los Andes Altos del Plata Cabernet Sauvignon 2020  Front Label
              Terrazas de los Andes Altos del Plata Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
              Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendoza, Argentina
              • JS94
              0.0 0 Ratings
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              Currently Unavailable $16.99
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              16 99
              16 99
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            • Markus Huber Obere Steigen Gruner Veltliner 2020  Front Label
              Markus Huber Obere Steigen Gruner Veltliner 2020
              Gruner Veltliner from Austria
              • JS93
              4.2 19 Ratings
              Regular price
              Currently Unavailable $29.99
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              29 99
              29 99
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            • Zuccardi Concreto Malbec 2020  Front Label
              Zuccardi Concreto Malbec 2020
              Malbec from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
              • JS95
              3.9 16 Ratings
              Regular price
              Currently Unavailable $39.99
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              39 99
              39 99
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            • Nikolaihof Hefeabzug Gruner Veltliner 2020  Front Label
              Nikolaihof Hefeabzug Gruner Veltliner 2020
              Gruner Veltliner from Wachau, Austria
              • RP91
              • JS90
              4.2 5 Ratings
              Regular price
              Currently Unavailable $35.99
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              35 99
              35 99
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