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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 2015  Front Label
    Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WW92
    • D92
    4.5 151 Ratings
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  • Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
    Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WW94
    4.7 56 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $124.99
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  • Chateau Larose-Trintaudon  2015  Front Label
    Chateau Larose-Trintaudon 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
    • WE92
    • JS90
    4.0 103 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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  • Querciabella Chianti Classico 2015 Front Label
    Querciabella Chianti Classico 2015
    Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
    • D97
    • JS92
    • WS92
    • W&S91
    • RP90
    3.8 121 Ratings
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    33
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  • Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
    Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS95
    • RP95
    • WS93
    • V93
    • WE92
    • D90
    4.3 67 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $54.99
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    75
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  • GEN5 Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Front Label
    GEN5 Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Lodi, California
      4.6 8 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    • Quintessa (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015 Front Label
      Quintessa (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
      • JS97
      • RP96
      • W&S91
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $428.99
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    • Charly Thevenet Regnie Grain and Granit 2015 Front Label
      Charly Thevenet Regnie Grain and Granit 2015
      Gamay from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
      • JS94
      4.5 7 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $36.99
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      36 99
      36 99
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    • Ziobaffa Organic Toscana 2015  Front Label
      Ziobaffa Organic Toscana 2015
      Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $12.99
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      • Robert Sinskey Los Carneros Pinot Noir 2015  Front Label
        Robert Sinskey Los Carneros Pinot Noir 2015
        Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
          4.2 10 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $49.99
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        • Yalumba The Signature Cabernet/Shiraz 2015  Front Label
          Yalumba The Signature Cabernet/Shiraz 2015
          Other Red Blends from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
          • JS93
          • WE93
          • RP93
          • WW92
          • W&S92
          4.2 5 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $59.99
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          70
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        • Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico Riserva Berardo 2015  Front Label
          Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico Riserva Berardo 2015
          Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
          • JS98
          • WS93
          • RP91
          4.1 64 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $37.99
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          37 99
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        • ColleMassari Montecucco Rosso Riserva 2015  Front Label
          ColleMassari Montecucco Rosso Riserva 2015
          Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
          • JS91
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $21.99
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          21 99
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        • Orben Rioja 2015  Front Label
          Orben Rioja 2015
          Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
          • TA94
          • WS93
          • RP90
          4.7 5 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $39.99
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          39 99
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        • Matsu El Viejo 2015  Front Label
          Matsu El Viejo 2015
          Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
          • WE93
          • WS91
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $43.99
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          60
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        • Capezzana Villa di Carmignano 2015  Front Label
          Capezzana Villa di Carmignano 2015
          Tuscan Blends from Carmignano, Tuscany, Italy
          • D95
          • JS93
          • RP91
          4.2 10 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $33.99
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          33 99
          33 99
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        • Shannon Reserve Home Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Front Label
          Shannon Reserve Home Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Lake County, North Coast, California
          • WE90
          4.1 27 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $23.99
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          38
          23 99
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        • Vina Sastre Crianza 2015  Front Label
          Vina Sastre Crianza 2015
          Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
          • JS92
          • RP90
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $39.99
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          39 99
          39 99
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        • St. Supery Rutherford Merlot 2015  Front Label
          St. Supery Rutherford Merlot 2015
          Merlot from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
          • TP93
          • WW93
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $56.99
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          56 99
          56 99
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        • Merryvale Pinot Noir 2015  Front Label
          Merryvale Pinot Noir 2015
          Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
          • JS90
          • JD90
          4.1 7 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $39.99
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          39 99
          39 99
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        • Bila-Haut by Michel Chapoutier r.i. Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2015  Front Label
          Bila-Haut by Michel Chapoutier r.i. Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2015
          Syrah/Shiraz from Côtes du Roussillon-Villages, Roussillon, South of France, France
          • RP98
          • WS93
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $139.00
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          139
          139
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        • Marco Abella Clos Abella 2015  Front Label
          Marco Abella Clos Abella 2015
          Other Red Blends from Priorat, Spain
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $94.99
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          • Yalumba The Cigar Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Front Label
            Yalumba The Cigar Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia
              4.2 5 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $29.99
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              29 99
              29 99
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            • Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard La Source Pinot Noir 2015 Front Label
              Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard La Source Pinot Noir 2015
              Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
              • WS94
              • W&S93
              • RP92
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $84.99
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            • Albert Bichot Fixin Clos de la Perriere Premier Cru Monopole 2015  Front Label
              Albert Bichot Fixin Clos de la Perriere Premier Cru Monopole 2015
              Pinot Noir from Fixin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
              • TA93
              • RP92
              • JS91
              • WE90
              • WS90
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $84.99
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              90
              84 99
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