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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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  • WillaKenzie Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 1998
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WE87
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    23 49
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  • Benziger Merlot 1998 Front Label
    Benziger Merlot 1998
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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      Currently Unavailable $20.49
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      20 49
      20 49
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    • d'Arenberg The Ironstone Pressings 1998 Front Label
      d'Arenberg The Ironstone Pressings 1998
      Rhone Red Blends from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
      • RP92
      • W&S92
      • WS90
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $58.99
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      58 99
      58 99
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    • Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz 1998 Front Label
      Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz 1998
      Syrah/Shiraz from Eden Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
      • WE94
      • JS93
      • WS93
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      Currently Unavailable $599.00
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      599
      599
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    • Bonterra Organically Grown Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
      Cabernet Sauvignon from North Coast, California
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        Currently Unavailable $20.99
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        20 99
        20 99
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      • Capezzana Barco Reale 1998 Front Label
        Capezzana Barco Reale 1998
        Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
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          Currently Unavailable $15.99
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          15 99
          15 99
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        • d'Arenberg The Twenty Eight Road Mouvedre 1998 Front Label
          d'Arenberg The Twenty Eight Road Mouvedre 1998
          Mourvedre from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
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            Currently Unavailable $30.99
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            30 99
            30 99
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          • Bonterra Mendocino County Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
            Cabernet Sauvignon from North Coast, California
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              22 99
              22 99
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            • d'Arenberg The Custodian Grenache 1998 Front Label
              d'Arenberg The Custodian Grenache 1998
              Grenache from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
              • RP91
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $27.49
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              27 49
              27 49
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            • Vietti Barbera d'Asti Tre Vigne 1998
              Barbera from Asti, Piedmont, Italy
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                Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                19 99
                19 99
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              • Vietti Barbera d'Alba Scarrone 1998
                Barbera from Alba, Piedmont, Italy
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                  Currently Unavailable $38.99
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                  38 99
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                • Vietti Barbera d'Asti La Crena 1998
                  Barbera from Asti, Piedmont, Italy
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                    Currently Unavailable $36.99
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                    36 99
                    36 99
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                  • Vietti Perbacco Nebbiolo delle Langhe 1998 Front Label
                    Vietti Perbacco Nebbiolo delle Langhe 1998
                    Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                      19 99
                      19 99
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                    • d'Arenberg Red Ochre 1998
                      Other Red Blends from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
                      • WS86
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $8.99
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                      8 99
                      8 99
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                    • Vietti Barbera d'Asti Tre Vigne 1998 Front Label
                      Vietti Barbera d'Asti Tre Vigne 1998
                      Barbera from Asti, Piedmont, Italy
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $18.99
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                        18 99
                        18 99
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                      • Bonterra Organically Grown Merlot 1998
                        Merlot from North Coast, California
                        • WS86
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $20.99
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                        20 99
                        20 99
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                      • Storybook Mountain Estate Reserve Zinfandel 1998
                        Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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                          Currently Unavailable $49.99
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                          49 99
                          49 99
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                        • Wirra Wirra RSW Shiraz 1998
                          Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
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                            Currently Unavailable $48.99
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                            48 99
                            48 99
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                          • Bonterra Organically Grown Sangiovese 1998
                            Sangiovese from North Coast, California
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                              Currently Unavailable $21.49
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                              21 49
                              21 49
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                            • Bonterra Organically Grown Syrah 1998 Front Label
                              Bonterra Organically Grown Syrah 1998
                              Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
                              • WE89
                              • WS87
                              0.0 0 Ratings
                              Currently Unavailable $22.49
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                              24 99
                              22 49
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                            • d'Arenberg The High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 Front Label
                              d'Arenberg The High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
                              Cabernet Sauvignon from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
                              • RP89
                              0.0 0 Ratings
                              Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                              15 99
                              15 99
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                            • Vietti Masseria Barbaresco 1998
                              Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
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                                Currently Unavailable $63.99
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                                63 99
                                63 99
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                              • Castellare I Sodi di San Niccolo 1998 Front Label
                                Castellare I Sodi di San Niccolo 1998
                                Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
                                • WS90
                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                Currently Unavailable $63.99
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                                63 99
                                63 99
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                              • WillaKenzie Estate Coleman Pinot Noir 1998 Front Label
                                WillaKenzie Estate Coleman Pinot Noir 1998
                                Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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                                  Currently Unavailable $27.99
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                                  30 99
                                  27 99
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                                • Storybook Mountain Eastern Exposures Zinfandel 1998
                                  Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                                  • RP90
                                  0.0 0 Ratings
                                  Currently Unavailable $23.99
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                                  33 49
                                  23 99
                                  Save $9.50 (28%)
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