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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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  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Merlot 2014  Front Label
    Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Merlot 2014
    Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • JS91
    3.8 13 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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  • Di Majo Norante Contado Riserva 2014  Front Label
    Di Majo Norante Contado Riserva 2014
    Aglianico from Molise, Italy
    • JS94
    3.8 27 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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    18 99
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  • Elderton Command Shiraz 2014  Front Label
    Elderton Command Shiraz 2014
    Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • RP96
    • JS93
    4.9 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $104.99
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    104 99
    104 99
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  • Wirra Wirra Church Block CSM 2014 Front Label
    Wirra Wirra Church Block CSM 2014
    Other Red Blends from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • JS91
    4.1 38 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $23.99
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    23 99
    23 99
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  • Keenan Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Front Label
    Keenan Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • V91
    4.8 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $57.99
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    57 99
    57 99
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  • Hacienda Araucano Alka Carmenere 2014 Front Label
    Hacienda Araucano Alka Carmenere 2014
    Carmenere from Chile
    • JS93
    • WE92
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $74.99
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    74 99
    74 99
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  • Remelluri Lindes de Remelluri de San Vicente 2014 Front Label
    Remelluri Lindes de Remelluri de San Vicente 2014
    Other Red Blends from Rioja, Spain
    • RP92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    32
    29 99
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  • Hermanos Pecina Senorio Crianza 2014  Front Label
    Hermanos Pecina Senorio Crianza 2014
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP90
    • TA90
    3.9 10 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    21 99
    21 99
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  • Yalumba The Menzies Cabernet Sauvignon 2014  Front Label
    Yalumba The Menzies Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia
    • JS93
    • D92
    • WW92
    • WS91
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $56.99
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    56 99
    56 99
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  • Domaine de Marcoux Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2014 Front Label
    Domaine de Marcoux Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2014
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $52.99
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    52 99
    52 99
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  • Robert Sinskey Point of View 2014  Front Label
    Robert Sinskey Point of View 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Carneros, California
      4.8 23 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $46.99
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      46 99
      46 99
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    • Chateau Ste. Michelle Ethos Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2014  Front Label
      Chateau Ste. Michelle Ethos Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2014
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
      • JS93
      • RP92
      4.6 5 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $46.99
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      55
      46 99
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    • d'Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier 2014  Front Label
      d'Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier 2014
      Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
      • JS91
      • W&S90
      4.2 5 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $26.99
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      29
      26 99
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    • Di Majo Norante Ramitello Rosso 2014  Front Label
      Di Majo Norante Ramitello Rosso 2014
      Other Red Blends from Italy
      • JS91
      • RP89
      4.0 11 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $16.99
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      16 99
      16 99
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    • Clos Henri Pinot Noir 2014 Front Label
      Clos Henri Pinot Noir 2014
      Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
      • JS93
      • RP91
      • WE90
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $39.99
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      39 99
      39 99
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    • Volker Eisele Terzetto 2014 Front Label
      Volker Eisele Terzetto 2014
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
      • RP94
      • JS92
      • WE91
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $79.99
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      79 99
      79 99
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    • Rodney Strong Alexander's Crown Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Front Label
      Rodney Strong Alexander's Crown Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
      • RP91
      • D90
      3.8 5 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $89.99
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      89 99
      89 99
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    • Vietti Barolo Ravera 2014  Front Label
      Vietti Barolo Ravera 2014
      Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
      • V97
      • RP94
      • WS94
      • W&S94
      • JS93
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $194.99
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      194 99
      194 99
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    • Carmel Road North Crest Pinot Noir 2014 Front Label
      Carmel Road North Crest Pinot Noir 2014
      Pinot Noir from Arroyo Seco, Monterey, Central Coast, California
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $38.99
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        55
        38 99
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      • Signorello Padrone Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Front Label
        Signorello Padrone Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
        • JD95
        • V94
        • RP93
        4.9 5 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $189.99
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        189 99
        189 99
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      • Cayuse En Cerise Syrah 2014 Front Label
        Cayuse En Cerise Syrah 2014
        Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
        • RP95
        • WS95
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $129.99
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        129 99
        129 99
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      • Domaine Catherine Le Goeuil Cairanne Cotes du Rhone Villages 2014 Front Label
        Domaine Catherine Le Goeuil Cairanne Cotes du Rhone Villages 2014
        Rhone Red Blends from Rhone, France
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $26.99
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          26 99
          26 99
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        • Cloudy Bay Te Wahi Pinot Noir 2014 Front Label
          Cloudy Bay Te Wahi Pinot Noir 2014
          Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
          • WW94
          • JS93
          • WS92
          • W&S90
          • WE90
          • RP90
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $109.99
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          109 99
          109 99
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        • Sena  2014 Front Label
          Sena 2014
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Aconcagua Valley, Chile
          • JS97
          • RP95
          • WS92
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $139.99
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          150
          139 99
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        • Keenan Napa Valley Merlot 2014 Front Label
          Keenan Napa Valley Merlot 2014
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
          • W&S90
          3.7 6 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $49.99
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          49 99
          49 99
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