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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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  • Domaine de la Vougeraie Vougeot Clos du Prieure Monopole Rouge 2013 Front Label
    Domaine de la Vougeraie Vougeot Clos du Prieure Monopole Rouge 2013
    Pinot Noir from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • W&S91
    • WS90
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  • Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Chardonnay 2013 Front Label
    Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Chardonnay 2013
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WW92
    • W&S91
    4.3 22 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $54.98
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  • Voyager Estate Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon 2013 Front Label
    Voyager Estate Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon 2013
    Bordeaux White Blends from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
    • W&S93
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Quinta do Crasto Douro Superior Red 2013 Front Label
    Quinta do Crasto Douro Superior Red 2013
    Other Red Blends from Portugal
    • WS92
    • W&S91
    • WE91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Giesen Ridge Block Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013 Front Label
    Giesen Ridge Block Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013
    Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
    • JS93
    • RP90
    • W&S90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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    75
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  • Raventos i Blanc Textures de Pedra 2013 Front Label
    Raventos i Blanc Textures de Pedra 2013
    Vintage Sparkling Wine from Penedes, Spain
    • WS93
    • W&S93
    • WE91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $45.99
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  • WillaKenzie Estate Pinot Gris 2013 Front Label
    WillaKenzie Estate Pinot Gris 2013
    Pinot Gris/Grigio from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WE92
    • WW92
    • W&S91
    3.4 6 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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  • Domaine de la Vougeraie Vougeot Clos du Prieure Blanc 2013 Front Label
    Domaine de la Vougeraie Vougeot Clos du Prieure Blanc 2013
    Chardonnay from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • W&S92
    • WS92
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.99
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  • Henschke Henry's Seven 2013 Front Label
    Henschke Henry's Seven 2013
    Rhone Red Blends from Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • JS92
    • W&S92
    • WS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $40.99
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  • Rocca di Montegrossi Chianti Classico 2013 Front Label
    Rocca di Montegrossi Chianti Classico 2013
    Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS91
    • W&S90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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    26 99
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  • Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2013 Front Label
    Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2013
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • W&S92
    • WS91
    5.0 11 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $58.99
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  • Bonterra The Butler Biodynamic Single Vineyard Red 2013 Front Label
    Bonterra The Butler Biodynamic Single Vineyard Red 2013
    Rhone Red Blends from Mendocino, California
    • W&S93
    • WE92
    • WW90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $52.99
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    52 99
    52 99
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  • Vietti Perbacco Nebbiolo delle Langhe 2013 Front Label
    Vietti Perbacco Nebbiolo delle Langhe 2013
    Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy
    • W&S90
    3.3 8 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $28.99
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    28 99
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  • Gerard Bertrand Grand Terroir La Clape 2013 Front Label
    Gerard Bertrand Grand Terroir La Clape 2013
    Rhone Red Blends from La Clape, Languedoc, South of France, France
    • WS91
    • W&S90
    3.6 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $16.99
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  • Argyle Nuthouse Pinot Noir 2013 Front Label
    Argyle Nuthouse Pinot Noir 2013
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • W&S91
    • WW91
    • WS90
    • WE90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $46.99
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  • Inglenook Rubicon (375ML half-bottle) 2013 Front Label
    Inglenook Rubicon (375ML half-bottle) 2013
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • JS97
    • D97
    • W&S93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $149.99
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    149 99
    149 99
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  • Mission Estate Syrah 2013 Front Label
    Mission Estate Syrah 2013
    Syrah/Shiraz from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    17 99
    17 99
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  • Domaine de la Vougeraie Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de Thorey Monopole Premier Cru 2013 Front Label
    Domaine de la Vougeraie Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de Thorey Monopole Premier Cru 2013
    Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP93
    • W&S93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $119.99
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    119 99
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  • Bethel Heights Aeolian Pinot Noir 2013 Front Label
    Bethel Heights Aeolian Pinot Noir 2013
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • W&S92
    • WE91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $38.99
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    42
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  • Habit Pinot Noir 2013 Front Label
    Habit Pinot Noir 2013
    Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • W&S90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $37.98
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  • Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Front Label
    Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • WW95
    • W&S95
    • JS93
    4.3 85 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $84.99
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  • Francis Tannahill The Hermit Pinot Noir 2013 Front Label
    Francis Tannahill The Hermit Pinot Noir 2013
    Pinot Noir from Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • W&S92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $42.99
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    55
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  • Chereau Carre Muscadet Comte Leloup de Chasseloir Centenaires 2013 Front Label
    Chereau Carre Muscadet Comte Leloup de Chasseloir Centenaires 2013
    Melon de Bourgogne from Pays Nantais, Loire, France
    • W&S93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $16.98
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    20
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  • Domaine Zafeirakis Limniona 2013 Front Label
    Domaine Zafeirakis Limniona 2013
    Other Red Wine from Greece
    • W&S90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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    22 99
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  • Laurel Glen Sonoma Mountain Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013  Front Label
    Laurel Glen Sonoma Mountain Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WE94
    • W&S94
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $99.99
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    99 99
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