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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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  • J Vineyards Russian River Pinot Noir 2017 Front Label
    J Vineyards Russian River Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    • JS91
    • RP90
    • W&S90
    4.3 13 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 62 Ratings
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  • Beaux Freres The Beaux Freres Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
    Beaux Freres The Beaux Freres Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Ribbon Ridge, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS96
    • WS95
    • RP92
    3.8 23 Ratings
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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 8 Ratings
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  • Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2017 Front Label
    Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2017
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • JD98
    • RP97
    • JS94
    3.8 6 Ratings
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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 46 Ratings
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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 28 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $38.99
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  • Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas le Claux 2017 Front Label
    Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas le Claux 2017
    Rhone Red Blends from Gigondas, Rhone, France
    • JD98
    • JS97
    • WS95
    • RP94
    • D93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $139.99
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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
    • JS91
    4.0 45 Ratings
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  • Vietti Barbera d'Alba Scarrone 2017  Front Label
    Vietti Barbera d'Alba Scarrone 2017
    Barbera from Alba, Piedmont, Italy
    • D93
    • JS92
    • V92
    • WS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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  • Joseph Drouhin Gevrey-Chambertin 2017  Front Label
    Joseph Drouhin Gevrey-Chambertin 2017
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WW93
    • JS92
    • BH91
    • RP91
    • WS91
    4.1 5 Ratings
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  • Cristom Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2017 Front Label
    Cristom Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2017
    Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS97
    • V94
    • WS93
    • W&S92
    • RP92
    • WE90
    3.8 6 Ratings
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  • Errazuriz Max Reserva Pinot Noir 2017 Front Label
    Errazuriz Max Reserva Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Aconcagua Valley, Chile
    • JS92
    • WW91
    • RP90
    3.4 31 Ratings
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  • Di Majo Norante Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Di Majo Norante Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Molise, Italy
    • JS91
    3.7 22 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $13.99
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  • Stoller Reserve Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
    Stoller Reserve Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS92
    • JS92
    • WE91
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $43.99
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  • Heinrich Red 2017  Front Label
    Heinrich Red 2017
    Other Red Blends from Neusiedlersee, Austria
    • WE90
    • JS90
    3.8 13 Ratings
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  • Tua Rita Perlato del Bosco 2017  Front Label
    Tua Rita Perlato del Bosco 2017
    Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS93
    • RP92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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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
    4.1 7 Ratings
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  • Craggy Range Winery Te Muna Road Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017 Front Label
    Craggy Range Winery Te Muna Road Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Martinborough, New Zealand
    • JS94
    • WE91
    • W&S90
    5.0 23 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $37.99
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    45
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  • Sena  2017  Front Label
    Sena 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Aconcagua Valley, Chile
    • JS99
    • RP96
    • TA96
    • WS94
    • V94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $149.99
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  • Bodegas Ordonez – Toro Triton Tinta de Toro 2017  Front Label
    Bodegas Ordonez – Toro Triton Tinta de Toro 2017
    Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
    • JD93
    • JS91
    4.1 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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  • Cuvaison Pinot Noir 2017 Front Label
    Cuvaison Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
    • JS92
    • W&S90
    • WE90
    4.6 6 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $42.99
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  • Penner-Ash Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
    Penner-Ash Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS93
    • WW93
    • WS92
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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  • Albert Bichot Secret de Famille Pinot Noir 2017  Front Bottle Shot
    Albert Bichot Secret de Famille Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • JS90
    3.8 12 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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  • Quartz Reef Bendigo Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
    Quartz Reef Bendigo Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
    • JS94
    • WE94
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $41.99
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