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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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  • St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Front Label
    St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc 2018
    Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California
    • TP95
    • W&S93
    • WW91
    • WS90
    4.1 177 Ratings
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  • Lemelson Thea's Select Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
    Lemelson Thea's Select Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS93
    • WS91
    4.2 68 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $28.99
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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
    4.2 260 Ratings
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  • Quintessa  2016  Front Label
    Quintessa 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • JS98
    • RP97
    • JD96
    • WS93
    • WW93
    4.8 38 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $184.99
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  • Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
    • WS92
    • WE91
    4.1 28 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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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
    4.0 134 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $11.99
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    14
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  • Chateau Pontet-Canet  2016 Front Label
    Chateau Pontet-Canet 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • WE100
    • RP98
    • D98
    • JD98
    • JS97
    • WS95
    4.3 17 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $169.99
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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
    4.3 300 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    19 99
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  • Graham's 20 Year Old Tawny Port Front Label
    Graham's 20 Year Old Tawny Port
    Port from Douro, Portugal
    • D96
    • JS94
    • WS93
    • WE90
    4.4 180 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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    68
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  • Wente Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Wente Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Livermore Valley, Central Coast, California
    • TP90
    • WS90
    4.0 98 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
    4.2 674 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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  • Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
    Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS95
    • RP95
    • WS93
    • V93
    • WE92
    • D90
    4.4 45 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $54.99
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    65
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  • Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc 2019  Front Label
    Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc 2019
    Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
    • WS90
    4.2 146 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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  • Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2017  Front Label
    Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2017
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • JD95
    • RP95
    • D95
    • WS95
    • V94
    4.7 45 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $74.99
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    74 99
    74 99
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  • Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs 2016 Front Label
    Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs 2016
    Vintage Sparkling Wine from North Coast, California
    • JS93
    • CG91
    • WS91
    • W&S90
    4.7 99 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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  • Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Front Label
    Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2019
    Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
    • WS93
    • JS91
    • WE90
    4.4 118 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $28.99
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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
    4.3 288 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    21 99
    21 99
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  • Olivier Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 2017  Front Label
    Olivier Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 2017
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WE92
    • WS92
    • BH91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $94.99
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  • Allan Scott Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2019  Front Label
    Allan Scott Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2019
    Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
    • WS93
    3.9 47 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    17
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  • Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere  2016 Front Label
    Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
    • JS96
    • V96
    • WE95
    • WS95
    • RP95
    • JD95
    • D93
    • CG91
    4.8 14 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $109.99
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  • Clos Apalta  2016  Front Label
    Clos Apalta 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
    • JS99
    • RP96
    • WS94
    • V93
    4.6 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $139.99
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    160
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  • Querciabella Chianti Classico 2015 Front Label
    Querciabella Chianti Classico 2015
    Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
    • D97
    • JS92
    • WS92
    • W&S91
    • RP90
    3.9 114 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    33
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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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  • Ghost Block Oakville Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 Front Label
    Ghost Block Oakville Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
    • WS93
    • WE92
    4.2 13 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $74.99
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    74 99
    74 99
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  • Bethel Heights Estate Pinot Noir 2017 Front Label
    Bethel Heights Estate Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS93
    • WE93
    • RP92
    • WS91
    4.3 24 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $33.99
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    33 99
    33 99
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