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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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  • Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2010 Front Label
    Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2010
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS98
    • RP97
    • WE97
    • W&S96
    • WS94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $559.99
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  • Le Ragnaie Ragnai Brunello di Montalcino 2010  Front Label
    Le Ragnaie Ragnai Brunello di Montalcino 2010
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS100
    • RP94
    • W&S94
    • WS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $99.97
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    99 97
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  • Frog's Leap Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2010 Front Label
    Frog's Leap Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2010
    Merlot from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • W&S93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $76.00
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    76
    76
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  • Ritual Casablanca Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Front Label
    Ritual Casablanca Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2010
    Sauvignon Blanc from Chile
    • W&S92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    19 99
    19 99
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  • Frog's Leap Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2010 Front Label
    Frog's Leap Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2010
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $54.00
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    54
    54
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  • Frog's Leap Zinfandel (3 Liter Bottle) 2010 Front Label
    Frog's Leap Zinfandel (3 Liter Bottle) 2010
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $108.00
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    108
    108
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  • d'Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier 2010 Front Label
    d'Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier 2010
    Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • W&S90
    • WE90
    3.1 10 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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    29
    26 99
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  • d'Arenberg The Derelict Vineyard Grenache 2010 Front Label
    d'Arenberg The Derelict Vineyard Grenache 2010
    Grenache from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • W&S93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $36.99
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    36 99
    36 99
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  • Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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    49 99
    49 99
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  • Chappellet Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Front Label
    Chappellet Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WS91
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $52.00
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    52
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  • Querciabella Palafreno 2010 Front Label
    Querciabella Palafreno 2010
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • WS97
    • W&S93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $224.99
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    224 99
    224 99
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  • Quivira Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Quivira Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    21 99
    21 99
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  • Rocca di Montegrossi San Marcellino Chianti Classico 2010 Front Label
    Rocca di Montegrossi San Marcellino Chianti Classico 2010
    Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
    • WS93
    • W&S93
    • JS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $50.99
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    50 99
    50 99
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  • Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2010 Front Label
    Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2010
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS98
    • RP95
    • WS93
    • W&S91
    4.2 16 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.97
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    89 97
    89 97
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  • Juve Y Camps Reserva de la Familia Cava Brut Nature 2010 Front Label
    Juve Y Camps Reserva de la Familia Cava Brut Nature 2010
    Vintage Sparkling Wine from Spain
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $16.99
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    16 99
    16 99
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  • Benton Lane Pinot Gris 2010 Front Label
    Benton Lane Pinot Gris 2010
    Pinot Gris/Grigio from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • W&S93
    3.8 8 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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    18 99
    18 99
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  • Yalumba Y Series Unwooded Chardonnay 2010 Front Label
    Yalumba Y Series Unwooded Chardonnay 2010
    Chardonnay from South Australia, Australia
    • W&S89
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $10.99
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    13
    10 99
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  • Benton Lane First Class Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Benton Lane First Class Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS93
    • W&S90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $42.99
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    60
    42 99
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  • Frog's Leap Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc (375ML half-bottle) 2010 Front Label
    Frog's Leap Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc (375ML half-bottle) 2010
    Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $12.79
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    12 79
    12 79
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  • Cooper Mountain Reserve Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Cooper Mountain Reserve Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • W&S93
    • BH90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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    22 99
    22 99
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  • Boutari Moschofilero 2010 Front Label
    Boutari Moschofilero 2010
    Moschofilero from Greece
    • W&S92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $12.99
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    15 99
    12 99
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  • Boutari Santorini 2010 Front Label
    Boutari Santorini 2010
    Other White Blends from Greece
    • W&S90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $27.99
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    27 99
    27 99
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  • d'Arenberg The Ironstone Pressings 2010 Front Label
    d'Arenberg The Ironstone Pressings 2010
    Rhone Red Blends from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • W&S92
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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    64 99
    64 99
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  • Grgich Hills Estate Fume Blanc 2010 Front Label
    Grgich Hills Estate Fume Blanc 2010
    Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S93
    3.9 8 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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    34 99
    34 99
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  • Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • W&S92
    • WS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $32.99
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    32 99
    32 99
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