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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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  • Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Rouge 2003 Front Label
    Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Rouge 2003
    Rhone Red Blends from Central Coast, California
    • RP92
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  • d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz (half-bottle) 2003 Front Label
    d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz (half-bottle) 2003
    Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • RP95
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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    34 99
    34 99
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  • Mad Fish Western Australia Shiraz 2003 Front Label
    Mad Fish Western Australia Shiraz 2003
    Syrah/Shiraz from Western Australia, Australia
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $11.99
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      14 28
      11 99
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    • Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 Front Label
      Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
        4.2 10 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $129.97
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        129 97
        129 97
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      • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2003 Front Label
        Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2003
        Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
        • WS90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $19.99
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        19 99
        19 99
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      • Bodegas Muga Reserva (375ML half-bottle) 2003 Front Label
        Bodegas Muga Reserva (375ML half-bottle) 2003
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $12.99
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          12 99
          12 99
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        • d'Arenberg The Stump Jump Red 2003 Front Label
          d'Arenberg The Stump Jump Red 2003
          Rhone Red Blends from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $13.99
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            13 99
            13 99
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          • Tablas Creek Cotes de Tablas Rouge 2003 Front Label
            Tablas Creek Cotes de Tablas Rouge 2003
            Rhone Red Blends from Central Coast, California
            • RP91
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $25.99
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            25 99
            25 99
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          • Robert Sinskey Merlot 2003 Front Label
            Robert Sinskey Merlot 2003
            Merlot from Carneros, California
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $24.99
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              24 99
              24 99
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            • Bodegas Muga Reserva 2003 Front Label
              Bodegas Muga Reserva 2003
              Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
              • W&S94
              3.6 5 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $23.99
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              23 99
              23 99
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            • Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2003 Front Label
              Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2003
              Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
              • W&S92
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $39.99
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              39 99
              39 99
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            • WillaKenzie Estate Pierre Leon Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
              WillaKenzie Estate Pierre Leon Pinot Noir 2003
              Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
              • WS89
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $32.99
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              36
              32 99
              Save $3.01 (8%)
            • Chateau de Saint Cosme Cote Rotie 2003 Front Label
              Chateau de Saint Cosme Cote Rotie 2003
              Syrah/Shiraz from Cote Rotie, Rhone, France
              • RP93
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $89.99
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              105
              89 99
              Save $15.01 (14%)
            • Vietti Barbera d'Asti La Crena 2003 Front Label
              Vietti Barbera d'Asti La Crena 2003
              Barbera from Asti, Piedmont, Italy
              • RP93
              • WS90
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $7.99
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              35
              7 99
              Save $27.01 (77%)
            • Yalumba The Menzies Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 Front Label
              Yalumba The Menzies Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
              Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia
              • RP94
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $42.99
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              42 99
              42 99
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            • Argyle Spirithouse Pinot Noir 2003 Front Bottle Shot
              Argyle Spirithouse Pinot Noir 2003
              Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
              • WS92
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $64.99
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              64 99
              64 99
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            • Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2003  Front Label
              Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2003
              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
                4.0 5 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $49.97
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                49 97
                49 97
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              • Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 Front Label
                Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
                Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
                  4.3 24 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $129.97
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                  129 97
                  129 97
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                • Cayuse Flying Pig 2003 Front Label
                  Cayuse Flying Pig 2003
                  Bordeaux Red Blends from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
                  • WS92
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $139.00
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                  139
                  139
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                • Inglenook Rubicon 2003 Front Label
                  Inglenook Rubicon 2003
                  Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
                  • W&S93
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $159.99
                  Try the 2014 Vintage 199 99
                  159 99
                  159 99
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                • Vasse Felix Shiraz 2003 Front Label
                  Vasse Felix Shiraz 2003
                  Syrah/Shiraz from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
                  • W&S90
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $11.29
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                  30
                  11 28
                  Save $18.71 (62%)
                • Vasse Felix Adams Road Cabernet Merlot 2003 Front Label
                  Vasse Felix Adams Road Cabernet Merlot 2003
                  Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $7.99
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                    16
                    7 99
                    Save $8.01 (50%)
                  • Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 Front Label
                    Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
                    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
                      4.1 13 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $149.97
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                      149 97
                      149 97
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                    • Cayuse Bionic Frog Syrah 2003 Front Label
                      Cayuse Bionic Frog Syrah 2003
                      Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
                      • WS96
                      • RP95
                      • W&S91
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $249.99
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                      249 99
                      249 99
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                    • Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 Front Label
                      Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
                      Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
                      • RP90
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                      29 99
                      14 99
                      Save $15.00 (50%)
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