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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 2017  Front Label
    Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WW93
    4.4 33 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $89.99
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  • Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WW92
    4.3 5 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $73.99
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  • Donnafugata Mille e una Notte 2017  Front Label
    Donnafugata Mille e una Notte 2017
    Nero d'Avola from Sicily, Italy
    • JS94
    • RP93
    5.0 15 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $94.99
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  • Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
    Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS96
    • D94
    • WS93
    • RP93
    • WE91
    4.7 18 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $79.99
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  • Chateau Coutet St. Emilion  2017 Front Label
    Chateau Coutet St. Emilion 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
    • WE90
    4.8 17 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $42.99
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    70
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  • Double Canyon Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Double Canyon Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • JS92
    3.9 107 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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  • Parducci True Grit Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Parducci True Grit Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendocino, California
    • WW90
    3.8 285 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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  • Ponzi Laurelwood District Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
    Ponzi Laurelwood District Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS93
    • WS93
    • WE92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    45
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  • Michael David Winery Rapture Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Michael David Winery Rapture Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Lodi, California
      4.2 6 Ratings
      Price per bottle
      Currently Unavailable $58.99
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    • WillaKenzie Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
      WillaKenzie Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017
      Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
      • RP91
      • WS90
      3.9 24 Ratings
      Price per bottle
      Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    • Tait The Ball Buster 2017  Front Label
      Tait The Ball Buster 2017
      Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
        4.2 46 Ratings
        Price per bottle
        Currently Unavailable $22.99
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      • Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
        Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
        • WW93
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Price per bottle
        Currently Unavailable $75.99
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        75 99
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      • Vietti Barolo Lazzarito 2017  Front Label
        Vietti Barolo Lazzarito 2017
        Nebbiolo from Serralunga d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy
        • JD97
        • JS96
        • V95
        • RP94
        • WS94
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Price per bottle
        Currently Unavailable $209.99
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      • Westwood Winery Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
        Westwood Winery Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2017
        Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
        • TP94
        • JD93
        • WE90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Price per bottle
        Currently Unavailable $51.99
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      • Quintessa (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2017  Front Label
        Quintessa (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2017
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
        • RP95
        • JS95
        • WW94
        • D93
        • WS92
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Price per bottle
        Currently Unavailable $399.99
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        399 99
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      • Davis Bynum Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
        Davis Bynum Pinot Noir 2017
        Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
        • W&S92
        • WE90
        4.3 69 Ratings
        Price per bottle
        Currently Unavailable $29.99
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      • Rippon Vineyard Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
        Rippon Vineyard Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2017
        Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
        • JS99
        • RP91
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Price per bottle
        Currently Unavailable $74.99
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        74 99
        74 99
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      • Francis Ford Coppola Director's Cut Cinema Red Blend 2017 Front Label
        Francis Ford Coppola Director's Cut Cinema Red Blend 2017
        Other Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
          4.2 111 Ratings
          Price per bottle
          Currently Unavailable $39.99
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          44
          39 99
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        • Ziobaffa Organic Toscana 2017  Front Label
          Ziobaffa Organic Toscana 2017
          Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
          • JS91
          4.3 35 Ratings
          Price per bottle
          Currently Unavailable $12.99
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          12 99
          12 99
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        • Zinfandelic Sierra Foothills Old Vine Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
          Zinfandelic Sierra Foothills Old Vine Zinfandel 2017
          Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
          • TP91
          • WE90
          3.8 246 Ratings
          Price per bottle
          Currently Unavailable $17.99
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          20
          17 99
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        • Markham Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
          Markham Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
          • JS92
          4.0 13 Ratings
          Price per bottle
          Currently Unavailable $44.99
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          44 99
          44 99
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        • Tolaini Al Passo Toscana 2017  Front Label
          Tolaini Al Passo Toscana 2017
          Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
          • JS94
          • RP91
          3.9 95 Ratings
          Price per bottle
          Currently Unavailable $25.99
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          27
          25 99
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        • A to Z Essence Pinot Noir 2017 Front Label
          A to Z Essence Pinot Noir 2017
          Pinot Noir from Oregon
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Price per bottle
            Currently Unavailable $26.99
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            26 99
            26 99
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          • Vietti Barolo Castiglione 2017  Front Label
            Vietti Barolo Castiglione 2017
            Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
            • JS94
            • JD93
            • RP93
            • V92
            • WW92
            4.4 7 Ratings
            Price per bottle
            Currently Unavailable $56.99
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            56 99
            56 99
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          • Mas Martinet Clos Martinet Priorat 2017  Front Label
            Mas Martinet Clos Martinet Priorat 2017
            Rhone Red Blends from Priorat, Spain
            • RP95
            • JD94
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Price per bottle
            Currently Unavailable $104.99
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            104 99
            104 99
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