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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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  • Cellier des Dauphins Reserve Cotes du Rhone 2018  Front Label
    Cellier des Dauphins Reserve Cotes du Rhone 2018
    Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
    • D97
    4.0 587 Ratings
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  • Hahn SLH Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Hahn SLH Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
    • TP93
    • WE91
    • D91
    4.1 274 Ratings
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  • J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • WE91
    • WW89
    4.1 391 Ratings
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  • Parducci True Grit Reserve Petite Sirah 2018  Front Label
    Parducci True Grit Reserve Petite Sirah 2018
    Petite Sirah from Mendocino, California
    • WE94
    3.9 165 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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  • Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Santa Margarita Ranch, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • WW90
    4.0 160 Ratings
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  • Shannon Ridge High Elevation Petite Sirah 2018  Front Label
    Shannon Ridge High Elevation Petite Sirah 2018
    Petite Sirah from Lake County, North Coast, California
    • WW91
    • WE90
    3.9 293 Ratings
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  • Vigilance Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Vigilance Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Red Hills, Lake County, North Coast, California
      3.5 48 Ratings
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    • Paul Dolan Vineyards Organically Grown Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
      Paul Dolan Vineyards Organically Grown Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendocino, California
      • WE93
      4.2 14 Ratings
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    • Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
      Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2018
      Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
      • JS91
      • TP91
      • WE90
      4.4 7 Ratings
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    • Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserve 2018  Front Label
      Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserve 2018
      Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
      • JD97
      • RP97
      • WS94
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $184.99
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    • Santa Carolina Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
      Santa Carolina Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
      • JS93
      • WE90
      3.8 98 Ratings
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    • Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Syrah Reserva 2018  Front Label
      Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Syrah Reserva 2018
      Syrah/Shiraz from Maipo Valley, Chile
      • JS93
      • V89
      4.0 58 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    • Cellier des Dauphins Les Dauphins Cuvee Speciale Cotes du Rhone 2018  Front Label
      Cellier des Dauphins Les Dauphins Cuvee Speciale Cotes du Rhone 2018
      Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
      • WE90
      3.9 84 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $12.99
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    • Joseph Drouhin Chorey Les Beaune 2018  Front Label
      Joseph Drouhin Chorey Les Beaune 2018
      Pinot Noir from Chorey-les-Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        4.3 9 Ratings
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      • Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2018  Front Label
        Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2018
        Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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        • Bonterra Organically Grown Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 Front Label
          Bonterra Organically Grown Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
          Cabernet Sauvignon from California
            4.1 85 Ratings
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          • Cristom Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
            Cristom Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018
            Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
            • RP94
            • W&S93
            0.0 0 Ratings
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          • Chateau de Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone Les Deux Albions 2018  Front Label
            Chateau de Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone Les Deux Albions 2018
            Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
            • RP90
            3.6 40 Ratings
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            24 99
            24 99
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          • Yalumba Y Series Shiraz 2018  Front Label
            Yalumba Y Series Shiraz 2018
            Syrah/Shiraz from South Australia, Australia
            • WS89
            4.0 22 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $14.99
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            14 99
            14 99
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          • Domaine Raymond Usseglio Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Imperiale 2018  Front Label
            Domaine Raymond Usseglio Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Imperiale 2018
            Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
            • RP97
            • JD94
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $77.99
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          • Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Carmenere Reserva 2018  Front Label
            Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Carmenere Reserva 2018
            Carmenere from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
            • JS92
            • TA90
            4.2 58 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $17.99
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            17 99
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          • Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Prestige 2018  Front Label
            Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Prestige 2018
            Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
            • RP96
            • JD95
            • WS94
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $77.99
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            77 99
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          • Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
            Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California
              4.4 5 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $29.99
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            • Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Villages 2018  Front Label
              Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Villages 2018
              Gamay from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
              • JS90
              3.6 9 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $18.99
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              18 99
              18 99
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            • Yalumba Samuel's Collection Bush Vine Grenache 2018 Front Label
              Yalumba Samuel's Collection Bush Vine Grenache 2018
              Grenache from Barossa, South Australia, Australia
              • JS93
              • WW92
              • WS90
              • WE90
              3.8 133 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $18.99
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              20
              18 99
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