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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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  • Quintessa  2016  Front Label
    Quintessa 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • JS98
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    • JD96
    • WS93
    • WW93
    4.7 49 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
    4.2 139 Ratings
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  • J Vineyards Russian River Pinot Noir 2017 Front Label
    J Vineyards Russian River Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE91
    • JS91
    • RP90
    • W&S90
    4.1 17 Ratings
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  • Ziobaffa Organic Toscana 2015  Front Label
    Ziobaffa Organic Toscana 2015
    Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS90
    4.6 17 Ratings
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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 10 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $139.99
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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
    3.8 129 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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  • Raymond Reserve Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Raymond Reserve Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • JS97
    • RP92
    • WW92
    • JD90
    • WE90
    4.2 263 Ratings
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  • Tolaini Al Passo Toscana 2016 Front Label
    Tolaini Al Passo Toscana 2016
    Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS94
    • RP92
    • WS92
    • V91
    4.1 33 Ratings
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  • Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
    Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS92
    • WW90
    4.2 69 Ratings
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  • Santa Carolina Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Santa Carolina Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
    • JS93
    • WE90
    3.9 35 Ratings
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  • Groth Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Groth Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
    • WS96
    • WW94
    • WE94
    • JS93
    4.7 12 Ratings
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  • Chateau Larose-Trintaudon  2015  Front Label
    Chateau Larose-Trintaudon 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
    • WE92
    • JS90
    4.0 115 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $25.99
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  • Ornellaia Le Volte dell'Ornellaia 2017  Front Label
    Ornellaia Le Volte dell'Ornellaia 2017
    Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
    • RP92
    • JS91
    3.9 51 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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  • Vietti Barolo Castiglione 2016  Front Label
    Vietti Barolo Castiglione 2016
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • JS96
    • JD95
    • V94
    • WW94
    • RP94
    • D93
    4.5 10 Ratings
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  • Double Canyon Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 Front Label
    Double Canyon Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • TP93
    • D92
    • W&S92
    • JS91
    4.0 412 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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  • Podere Grattamacco Bolgheri Rosso 2018  Front Label
    Podere Grattamacco Bolgheri Rosso 2018
    Other Red Blends from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS96
    4.6 10 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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  • Vasse Felix Filius Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Vasse Felix Filius Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
    • WS92
    • JS91
    4.0 48 Ratings
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  • Santa Julia Organica Cabernet Sauvignon 2019  Front Label
    Santa Julia Organica Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendoza, Argentina
    • JS90
    3.7 48 Ratings
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    13
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  • Chateau Pontet-Canet (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016 Front Label
    Chateau Pontet-Canet (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • WE100
    • V99
    • RP98
    • D98
    • JD98
    • JS97
    • WS95
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $339.97
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  • Charly Thevenet Regnie Grain and Granit 2015 Front Label
    Charly Thevenet Regnie Grain and Granit 2015
    Gamay from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
    • JS94
    4.4 9 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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  • Cristom Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
    Cristom Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS97
    • V94
    • WS93
    • W&S92
    • RP92
    • WE90
    4.3 11 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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  • St. Supery Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    St. Supery Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • JS91
    • JD90
    • WW90
    4.3 35 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $37.99
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  • Domaine Bousquet Grande Reserve Malbec 2017  Front Label
    Domaine Bousquet Grande Reserve Malbec 2017
    Malbec from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
    • JS92
    • TA92
    • D92
    4.2 10 Ratings
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  • Vino de Eyzaguirre Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Vino de Eyzaguirre Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
    • JS90
    3.7 27 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $9.99
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    9 99
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  • Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Carmenere Reserva 2018  Front Label
    Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Carmenere Reserva 2018
    Carmenere from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
    • JS92
    • TA90
    4.3 22 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    17 99
    17 99
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