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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 2017  Front Label
    Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WW93
    4.9 8 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $84.99
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  • Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2019  Front Label
    Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2019
    Chardonnay from California
    • WE92
    • WW91
    4.1 120 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $13.99
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  • Hampton Water Rose 2020  Front Label
    Hampton Water Rose 2020
    Rosé from Languedoc, South of France, France
    • WW90
    4.3 209 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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  • Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose Front Label
    Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose
    Sparkling Rosé from Champagne, France
    • WW96
    • JS94
    • WS93
    • D93
    • WE92
    • RP90
    4.7 504 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $79.99
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  • Ghost Block Oakville Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Ghost Block Oakville Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
    • WS95
    • WW92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $74.99
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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
    3.8 275 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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  • Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Les Baronnes Blanc 2019  Front Label
    Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Les Baronnes Blanc 2019
    Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, Loire, France
    • WW92
    4.1 227 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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  • Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Syrah Reserva 2019  Front Label
    Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Syrah Reserva 2019
    Syrah/Shiraz from Maipo Valley, Chile
    • JS94
    • WW92
    4.1 73 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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  • Chateau Larose-Trintaudon  2016  Front Label
    Chateau Larose-Trintaudon 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
    • JS92
    • WE91
    • WW91
    4.3 47 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $27.99
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    28 99
    27 99
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  • Dr. Loosen Dr. L Riesling 2020  Front Label
    Dr. Loosen Dr. L Riesling 2020
    Riesling from Mosel, Germany
    • WW90
    4.2 82 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $13.99
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    13 99
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  • St. Supery Dollarhide Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
    St. Supery Dollarhide Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WW93
    • RP92
    • JS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $94.99
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    94 99
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  • Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve  Front Label
    Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve
    Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
    • D95
    • W&S91
    • WS91
    • WW91
    • JS91
    • WE90
    • RP90
    4.5 193 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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    59 99
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  • Jansz Premium Rose Front Label
    Jansz Premium Rose
    Sparkling Rosé from Tasmania, Australia
    • WW92
    • D92
    • WS91
    • JS91
    • W&S90
    4.3 174 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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    29
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  • Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir 2019  Front Label
    Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir 2019
    Pinot Noir from California
    • WW90
    • TP90
    3.9 114 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $12.99
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    18
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  • Quintessa  2017  Front Label
    Quintessa 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • RP95
    • JS95
    • WW94
    • D93
    • WS92
    4.6 26 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $209.99
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    209 99
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  • Clos Apalta  2011 Front Label
    Clos Apalta 2011
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
    • JS96
    • WE95
    • RP93
    • TP93
    • WW93
    • WS92
    4.7 9 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $104.99
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    104 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
    • WE93
    • TP93
    • WW90
    4.0 422 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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    22
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  • Mapreco Vinho Verde Rose 2020  Front Label
    Mapreco Vinho Verde Rose 2020
    Rosé from Vinho Verde, Portugal
    • WW89
    4.2 50 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $10.99
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    10 99
    10 99
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  • Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WW93
    • WE92
    4.5 143 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $55.99
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    58
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  • Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • WW94
    • RP92
    • JS92
    4.0 39 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $47.99
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    47 99
    47 99
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  • Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Renegade 2017 Front Label
    Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Renegade 2017
    Other Red Blends from Santa Margarita Ranch, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • WE92
    • WW91
    • D91
    • CG90
    3.8 188 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    26
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  • Avaline White Blend  Front Label
    Avaline White Blend
    Other White Blends from Penedes, Spain
    • WW91
    • TP91
    4.0 489 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    24
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  • MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2019  Front Label
    MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2019
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • TP94
    • WW90
    • JD90
    4.4 17 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $23.99
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    25
    23 99
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  • Chateau Vignelaure Coteaux d'Aix en Provence Rose 2020  Front Label
    Chateau Vignelaure Coteaux d'Aix en Provence Rose 2020
    Rosé from Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence, Provence, South of France, France
    • WE92
    • WW91
    • RP91
    4.7 27 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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    22 99
    22 99
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  • Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Carmenere Reserva 2019  Front Label
    Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Carmenere Reserva 2019
    Carmenere from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
    • JS93
    • WW92
    4.4 48 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    17 99
    17 99
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