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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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  • Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Front Label
    Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S94
    • WE91
    4.3 58 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $109.99
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    109 99
    109 99
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  • Cayuse Armada Syrah 2008  Front Label
    Cayuse Armada Syrah 2008
    Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE97
    • RP95
    • WS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $169.97
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    169 97
    169 97
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  • Cayuse Bionic Frog Syrah 2008 Front Label
    Cayuse Bionic Frog Syrah 2008
    Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE100
    • RP97
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $329.97
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    329 97
    329 97
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  • Cayuse Cailloux Syrah 2008 Front Label
    Cayuse Cailloux Syrah 2008
    Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • RP97
    • WE97
    • WS95
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $169.97
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    169 97
    169 97
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  • Cayuse Camaspelo 2008 Front Label
    Cayuse Camaspelo 2008
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • RP96
    • WE95
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $147.97
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    147 97
    147 97
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  • Cayuse God Only Knows Grenache 2008 Front Label
    Cayuse God Only Knows Grenache 2008
    Grenache from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • RP94
    • WE93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $159.97
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    159 97
    159 97
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  • Earthworks Shiraz 2008 Front Label
    Earthworks Shiraz 2008
    Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Price per bottle
      Currently Unavailable $17.99
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      17 99
      17 99
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    • Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
      Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel 2008
      Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
      • W&S91
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Price per bottle
      Currently Unavailable $29.99
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      33 99
      29 99
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    • Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Front Label
      Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
      • WE95
      • JS92
      4.9 7 Ratings
      Price per bottle
      Currently Unavailable $119.00
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      119
      119
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    • Inglenook Rubicon 2008 Front Label
      Inglenook Rubicon 2008
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
      • WE95
      • CG95
      • W&S93
      • WS92
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Price per bottle
      Currently Unavailable $169.99
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      169 99
      169 99
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    • Yalumba Y Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Front Label
      Yalumba Y Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
      Cabernet Sauvignon from South Australia, Australia
        3.1 14 Ratings
        Price per bottle
        Currently Unavailable $10.79
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        10 79
        10 79
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      • Hall Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Front Label
        Hall Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
        • WS96
        • WE94
        • RP93
        3.7 7 Ratings
        Price per bottle
        Currently Unavailable $89.99
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        89 99
        89 99
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      • Cayuse En Chamberlin Syrah 2008 Front Label
        Cayuse En Chamberlin Syrah 2008
        Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
        • RP98
        • WE96
        • WS94
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Price per bottle
        Currently Unavailable $177.97
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        177 97
        177 97
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      • Fontodi Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna del Sorbo 2008 Front Label
        Fontodi Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna del Sorbo 2008
        Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
        • JS94
        • RP93
        • WS90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Price per bottle
        Currently Unavailable $43.97
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        75
        43 97
        Save $31.03 (41%)
      • Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas 2008 Front Label
        Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas 2008
        Rhone Red Blends from Gigondas, Rhone, France
        • WS91
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Price per bottle
        Currently Unavailable $29.99
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        35
        29 99
        Save $5.01 (14%)
      • Benziger Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
        Benziger Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2008
        Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Price per bottle
          Currently Unavailable $52.99
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          52 99
          52 99
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        • Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico 2008 Front Label
          Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico 2008
          Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
          • WS90
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Price per bottle
          Currently Unavailable $22.99
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          22 99
          22 99
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        • Marimar Estate Don Miguel Vineyard La Masia Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
          Marimar Estate Don Miguel Vineyard La Masia Pinot Noir 2008
          Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
          • WE96
          • CG91
          4.1 9 Ratings
          Price per bottle
          Currently Unavailable $41.99
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          41 99
          41 99
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        • Inglenook Rubicon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2008 Front Label
          Inglenook Rubicon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2008
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
          • WE95
          • CG95
          • W&S93
          • WS92
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Price per bottle
          Currently Unavailable $389.00
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          500
          389
          Save $111.00 (22%)
        • Rex Hill Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
          Rex Hill Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2008
          Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
          • WE90
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Price per bottle
          Currently Unavailable $28.99
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          28 99
          28 99
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        • d'Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier 2008 Front Label
          d'Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier 2008
          Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
          • RP91
          • WE90
          3.5 11 Ratings
          Price per bottle
          Currently Unavailable $26.99
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          26 99
          26 99
          Save $0.00 (0%)
        • Green Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Front Label
          Green Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
          Cabernet Sauvignon from California
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Price per bottle
            Currently Unavailable $8.99
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            12
            8 99
            Save $3.01 (25%)
          • Bodegas El Indiano El Brozal 2008 Front Label
            Bodegas El Indiano El Brozal 2008
            Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
            • RP92
            • W&S90
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Price per bottle
            Currently Unavailable $33.99
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            33 99
            33 99
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          • Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
            Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2008
            Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
            • W&S90
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Price per bottle
            Currently Unavailable $27.99
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            27 99
            27 99
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          • De Morgenzon DMZ Syrah 2008 Front Label
            De Morgenzon DMZ Syrah 2008
            Syrah/Shiraz from South Africa
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Price per bottle
              Currently Unavailable $15.99
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              15 99
              15 99
              Save $0.00 (0%)
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