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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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  • Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
    Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WW92
    • D92
    4.6 123 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
    4.1 181 Ratings
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  • Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • JD94
    • WW93
    • RP92
    • WE90
    4.4 113 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $58.99
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  • Bollinger Brut Special Cuvee Front Label
    Bollinger Brut Special Cuvee
    Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
    • WW94
    • JD93
    • WS92
    • JS92
    • WE92
    • W&S91
    • RP91
    • D90
    4.3 261 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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    79
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  • Quintessa  2016  Front Label
    Quintessa 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • JS98
    • RP97
    • JD96
    • WS93
    • WW93
    4.8 39 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $184.99
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  • J. Lohr Riverstone Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    J. Lohr Riverstone Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Arroyo Seco, Monterey, Central Coast, California
    • WS89
    • WW89
    4.0 135 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $11.99
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  • Invivo X by Sarah Jessica Parker Sauvignon Blanc 2019  Front Label
    Invivo X by Sarah Jessica Parker Sauvignon Blanc 2019
    Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
    • WW90
    • WS90
    4.3 307 Ratings
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  • Cote des Roses Rose 2019  Front Label
    Cote des Roses Rose 2019
    Rosé from Languedoc, South of France, France
    • WW90
    4.2 225 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    20
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  • Hampton Water Rose 2018  Front Label
    Hampton Water Rose 2018
    Rosé from Languedoc, South of France, France
    • WW91
    • WE90
    • WS90
    4.2 680 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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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
    4.3 50 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    50
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  • Raymond Reserve Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Raymond Reserve Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • RP92
    • WW92
    • JD90
    • WE90
    4.1 211 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    45
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  • Markham Merlot 2016 Front Label
    Markham Merlot 2016
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP92
    • WW90
    4.0 144 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $20.99
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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
    • W&S90
    4.0 255 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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  • Vigilance Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Front Label
    Vigilance Sauvignon Blanc 2018
    Sauvignon Blanc from Red Hills, Lake County, North Coast, California
    • WE91
    • WW90
    3.7 232 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $13.99
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  • Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir 2018 Front Label
    Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WW92
    • WE91
    4.1 137 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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    24
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  • Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from California
    • WW90
    • WE90
    3.9 244 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $13.99
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    13 99
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  • Craggy Range Winery Te Muna Road Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2019  Front Label
    Craggy Range Winery Te Muna Road Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2019
    Sauvignon Blanc from Martinborough, New Zealand
    • WW93
    • JS92
    • W&S90
    • WS90
    4.3 294 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    21 99
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  • Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Riesling 2018 Front Label
    Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Riesling 2018
    Riesling from Eden Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • JS94
    • WE92
    • WW92
    3.8 233 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $16.99
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    20
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  • VieVite Rose 2018  Front Label
    VieVite Rose 2018
    Rosé from Cotes de Provence, Provence, South of France, France
    • WW89
    4.3 89 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    21
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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 45 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    29 99
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  • JCB No. 69 Brut Rose Cremant de Bourgogne  Front Label
    JCB No. 69 Brut Rose Cremant de Bourgogne
    Rosé Sparkling Wine from Burgundy, France
    • WW91
    4.4 99 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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    28
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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
    3.9 27 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    30
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  • Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Gris 2018  Front Label
    Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Gris 2018
    Pinot Gris/Grigio from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WE90
    • WW90
    • WS89
    4.6 17 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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    18 99
    18 99
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  • Shannon Ridge High Elevation Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Front Label
    Shannon Ridge High Elevation Sauvignon Blanc 2018
    Sauvignon Blanc from Lake County, North Coast, California
    • WW91
    4.1 66 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $12.99
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    23
    12 99
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  • Samuel Billaud Chablis Premier Cru Les Vaillons Vieilles Vignes 2017 Front Label
    Samuel Billaud Chablis Premier Cru Les Vaillons Vieilles Vignes 2017
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
    • WW93
    • V92
    • RP92
    • BH91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $57.99
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    57 99
    57 99
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