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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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  • Grgich Hills Estate Yountville Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Front Label
    Grgich Hills Estate Yountville Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
    • RP95
    • WE94
    • W&S91
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  • Louis Roederer Blanc de Blancs 2013  Front Label
    Louis Roederer Blanc de Blancs 2013
    Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
    • JS95
    • WE94
    • WS93
    • W&S93
    • RP93
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Louis Roederer Brut Vintage with Gift Box 2013  Front Bottle Shot
    Louis Roederer Brut Vintage with Gift Box 2013
    Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
    • WE93
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Pewsey Vale Museum Reserve The Contours Riesling 2013  Front Label
    Pewsey Vale Museum Reserve The Contours Riesling 2013
    Riesling from Eden Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • D97
    • WE94
    • WS90
    3.6 18 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $37.99
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  • San Polino Brunello di Montalcino Helichrysum 2013  Front Label
    San Polino Brunello di Montalcino Helichrysum 2013
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS96
    • WE94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $71.99
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    90
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  • Siro Pacenti Brunello di Montalcino Vecchie Vigne 2013  Front Label
    Siro Pacenti Brunello di Montalcino Vecchie Vigne 2013
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS95
    • RP95
    • WS93
    • WE93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $79.99
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  • d'Arenberg The Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Front Label
    d'Arenberg The Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
    Cabernet Sauvignon from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • WE91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Hall Eighteen Seventy-Three Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Front Label
    Hall Eighteen Seventy-Three Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WW98
    • RP95
    • WS94
    • WE93
    4.4 136 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $79.99
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  • d'Arenberg d'Arry's Original Shiraz/Grenache 2013 Front Label
    d'Arenberg d'Arry's Original Shiraz/Grenache 2013
    Rhone Red Blends from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • WE91
    3.9 13 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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  • Parducci Small Lot Petite Sirah 2013 Front Label
    Parducci Small Lot Petite Sirah 2013
    Petite Sirah from Mendocino, California
    • WE90
    3.4 43 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $13.99
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  • Angove Family Winemakers Family Crest Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre 2013 Front Label
    Angove Family Winemakers Family Crest Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre 2013
    Rhone Red Blends from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • WE90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $32.99
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  • St. Supery Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Front Label
    St. Supery Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • JS93
    • WS92
    • RP91
    • WE90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $88.99
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  • Viluko Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Front Label
    Viluko Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California
    • WW91
    • WE90
    4.6 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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  • Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2013 Front Label
    Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2013
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS96
    • RP93
    • WE93
    • WS93
    4.5 41 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $57.99
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  • Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Renegade 2013 Front Label
    Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Renegade 2013
    Other Red Blends from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • WE93
    • TP91
    • WW90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $20.99
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  • Tangent Paragon Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Front Label
    Tangent Paragon Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2013
    Sauvignon Blanc from Edna Valley, Central Coast, California
    • WE90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $13.99
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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
    Currently Unavailable $27.99
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  • Valenti Norma Etna Rosso 2013 Front Label
    Valenti Norma Etna Rosso 2013
    Other Red Wine from Sicily, Italy
    • WE91
    2.7 15 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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  • Gianni Brunelli Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2013 Front Label
    Gianni Brunelli Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2013
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • WE96
    • D95
    • JS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
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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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  • Hall Ellie's Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Front Label
    Hall Ellie's Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WW96
    • WE94
    • RP93
    • WS90
    4.3 59 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $74.99
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  • Loveblock Pinot Noir 2013 Front Label
    Loveblock Pinot Noir 2013
    Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
    • WE91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $28.99
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    37
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  • Felsina Berardenga Chianti Classico (375ML Half-bottle) 2013 Front Label
    Felsina Berardenga Chianti Classico (375ML Half-bottle) 2013
    Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
    • WE92
    • JS92
    • WS92
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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  • WillaKenzie Estate Pierre Leon Pinot Noir 2013 Front Label
    WillaKenzie Estate Pierre Leon Pinot Noir 2013
    Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WE91
    4.4 6 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $38.99
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    48
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  • Azelia Barolo San Rocco 2013  Front Label
    Azelia Barolo San Rocco 2013
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • RP94
    • WS93
    • WE91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $84.99
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    84 99
    84 99
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