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Green / Sustainable Wine

Natural Wine, Organic & Sustainable Defined ...

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Wines marked with the green leaf icon, reds, whites, sparkling, and so on, 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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  • Clos Apalta  2011 Front Label
    Clos Apalta 2011
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
    • JS96
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    • WW93
    • WS92
    4.4 17 Ratings
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  • Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Prestige 2011 Front Label
    Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Prestige 2011
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP93
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  • Cayuse Cailloux Syrah 2011 Front Label
    Cayuse Cailloux Syrah 2011
    Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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    • WE96
    • WS93
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  • Cayuse God Only Knows Grenache 2011 Front Label
    Cayuse God Only Knows Grenache 2011
    Grenache from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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  • Chateau Pontet-Canet  2011 Front Label
    Chateau Pontet-Canet 2011
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • WE96
    • JS95
    • RP93
    • D93
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  • Cayuse Armada Syrah 2011 Front Label
    Cayuse Armada Syrah 2011
    Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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    • WS94
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  • Gerard Bertrand Cotes du Roussillon Tautavel Hommage aux Vignerons 2011 Front Label
    Gerard Bertrand Cotes du Roussillon Tautavel Hommage aux Vignerons 2011
    Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Roussillon-Tautavel, Côtes du Roussillon-Villages, Roussillon, South of France, France
    • WE93
    • WS90
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  • Chateau Guiraud Sauternes 2011 Front Label
    Chateau Guiraud Sauternes 2011
    Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
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    • WS97
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  • Cayuse Flying Pig 2011 Front Label
    Cayuse Flying Pig 2011
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • RP95
    • WE94
    • WS90
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  • Poggiotondo Chianti Superiore 2011 Front Label
    Poggiotondo Chianti Superiore 2011
    Sangiovese from Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Meal Blanc 2011  Front Label
    M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Meal Blanc 2011
    Marsanne from Hermitage, Rhone, France
    • RP99
    • WS94
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  • Cayuse The Lovers 2011 Front Label
    Cayuse The Lovers 2011
    Other Red Blends from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • RP94
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  • Chateau Guiraud Sauternes (375ML half-bottle) 2011 Front Label
    Chateau Guiraud Sauternes (375ML half-bottle) 2011
    Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau de Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone 2011 Front Label
    Chateau de Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone 2011
    Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
    • WS90
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  • Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino 2011 Front Label
    Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino 2011
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    • WE95
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  • Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2011 Front Label
    Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2011
    Viognier from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • WS89
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  • Calendal Cotes du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu 2011 Front Label
    Calendal Cotes du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu 2011
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  • Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso Guardiola 2011 Front Label
    Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso Guardiola 2011
    Other Red Blends from Sicily, Italy
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  • Vietti Barolo Lazzarito 2011 Front Label
    Vietti Barolo Lazzarito 2011
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • RP96
    • WS92
    • JS92
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  • Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso Calderara Sottana 2011 Front Label
    Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso Calderara Sottana 2011
    Other Red Blends from Sicily, Italy
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    • WS90
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  • Domaine Santa Duc Prestige des Hautes Garrigues Gigondas 2011 Front Label
    Domaine Santa Duc Prestige des Hautes Garrigues Gigondas 2011
    Rhone Red Blends from Gigondas, Rhone, France
    • WS93
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  • Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier 2011 Front Label
    Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier 2011
    Viognier from Eden Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • WS91
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  • Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Blanc 2011 Front Label
    Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Blanc 2011
    Rhone White Blends from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
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  • Chehalem Stoller Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011 Front Label
    Chehalem Stoller Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
    Pinot Noir from Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS90
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    4.2 6 Ratings
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    49 99
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  • Louis Roederer Brut Rose with Gift Box 2011 Front Label
    Louis Roederer Brut Rose with Gift Box 2011
    Sparkling Rosé from Champagne, France
    • WE94
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    4.4 18 Ratings
    Regular price
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