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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
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    • WW93
    4.6 5 Ratings
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  • Chappellet Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Chappellet Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • RP100
    • JD100
    • TP98
    • JS95
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $279.99
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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 8 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $159.99
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  • Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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    • WW93
    • RP92
    • WE90
    4.4 10 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $58.99
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  • Bodegas Mas Alta Black Slate La Vilella Alta 2016 Front Label
    Bodegas Mas Alta Black Slate La Vilella Alta 2016
    Other Red Blends from Priorat, Spain
    • JD94
    • WS93
    3.6 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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  • Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2016  Front Label
    Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2016
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • JD99
    • WE99
    • WS97
    • RP97
    • D96
    4.7 10 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $109.99
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  • Aalto  2016 Front Label
    Aalto 2016
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • RP95
    • JD94
    4.3 13 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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  • K Vintners El Jefe 2016  Front Label
    K Vintners El Jefe 2016
    Tempranillo from Wahluke Slope, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • JD95
    • JS93
    4.5 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $54.99
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  • Domaine St. Damien Gigondas Vieilles Vignes 2016  Front Label
    Domaine St. Damien Gigondas Vieilles Vignes 2016
    Rhone Red Blends from Gigondas, Rhone, France
    • JD96
    • RP93
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Aalto PS 2016  Front Label
    Aalto PS 2016
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • JD98
    • RP95
    3.7 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $119.99
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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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    339 97
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  • Hall Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Hall Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • RP97
    • WW96
    • JD96
    • V94
    4.3 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $174.99
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  • Chateau de Saint Cosme Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2016 Front Label
    Chateau de Saint Cosme Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2016
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP96
    • JS94
    • JD94
    • WE94
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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  • Celler Cal Pla Black Slate Porrera 2016 Front Label
    Celler Cal Pla Black Slate Porrera 2016
    Other Red Blends from Priorat, Spain
    • JD94
    • RP92
    4.3 11 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $23.99
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  • Chateau de Vaudieu Val de Dieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2016 Front Label
    Chateau de Vaudieu Val de Dieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2016
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • WE96
    • WS95
    • JD95
    • RP94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $74.99
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  • Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • JS94
    • JD91
    • RP90
    4.0 64 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    36
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  • Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
    Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel 2016
    Zinfandel from Rockpile, Sonoma County, California
    • WS94
    • JD94
    4.7 9 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $42.99
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  • Kosta Browne Cerise Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
    Kosta Browne Cerise Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
    • JD94
    • JS94
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Horsepower Vineyards The Tribe Vineyard Syrah 2016  Front Label
    Horsepower Vineyards The Tribe Vineyard Syrah 2016
    Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE98
    • JD97
    • JS96
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $164.99
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  • Domaine de Marcoux Cotes-du-Rhone 2016 Front Label
    Domaine de Marcoux Cotes-du-Rhone 2016
    Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
    • WW91
    • JD91
    3.6 10 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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  • Folie a Deux Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Folie a Deux Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • TP92
    • JD90
    3.9 27 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $20.99
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    24
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  • Wrath Swan 828 Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
    Wrath Swan 828 Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Monterey, Central Coast, California
    • JD93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $35.99
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  • Talley Rincon Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016 Front Label
    Talley Rincon Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Arroyo Grande Valley, Central Coast, California
    • JD95
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    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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  • Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Rouge 2016 Front Label
    Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Rouge 2016
    Rhone Red Blends from Adelaida District, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • WS94
    • W&S94
    • JS94
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    • RP92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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    64 99
    64 99
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  • M. Chapoutier Ermitage Les Greffieux 2016  Front Label
    M. Chapoutier Ermitage Les Greffieux 2016
    Syrah/Shiraz from Hermitage, Rhone, France
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    • RP97
    • JS95
    • D95
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $249.99
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    249 99
    249 99
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