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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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  • Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from California
    • WW90
    4.1 35 Ratings
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  • Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir 2018 Front Label
    Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WW92
    • WE91
    4.0 36 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $23.99
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  • Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018  Front Label
    Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
    • WS98
    • V98
    • JD97
    • WE96
    • RP96
    • JS95
    • D94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $84.97
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    84 97
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  • McManis Family Vineyards Zinfandel 2018  Front Bottle Shot
    McManis Family Vineyards Zinfandel 2018
    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
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      Currently Unavailable $10.99
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      13
      10 99
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    • Chateau Pontet-Canet (6-Pack OWC Futures Pre-Sale) 2018  Front Label
      Chateau Pontet-Canet (6-Pack OWC Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
      • RP99
      • WE98
      • JS98
      • JD98
      • D96
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $779.97
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      779 97
      779 97
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    • Loveblock Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
      Loveblock Pinot Noir 2018
      Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
      • WS93
      • WE90
      4.2 36 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $28.99
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      28 99
      28 99
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    • Tolpuddle Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
      Tolpuddle Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018
      Pinot Noir from Tasmania, Australia
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $74.99
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      • Zuccardi Concreto Malbec 2018  Front Label
        Zuccardi Concreto Malbec 2018
        Malbec from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
        • RP95
        • JS95
        4.3 6 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $39.99
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        39 99
        39 99
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      • Two Paddocks Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
        Two Paddocks Pinot Noir 2018
        Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
        • WE94
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $49.99
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        49 99
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      • Chateau Fonplegade (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018  Front Label
        Chateau Fonplegade (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
        Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
        • WS96
        • RP95
        • JS94
        • D94
        • JD94
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $39.97
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        39 97
        39 97
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      • Robert Oatley G-18 Grenache 2018 Front Label
        Robert Oatley G-18 Grenache 2018
        Grenache from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
        • WE92
        • JS91
        • WW91
        4.0 21 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $18.99
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        18 99
        18 99
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      • Podere Grattamacco Bolgheri Rosso 2018  Front Label
        Podere Grattamacco Bolgheri Rosso 2018
        Other Red Blends from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
        • JS96
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $29.99
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        29 99
        29 99
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      • Di Majo Norante Sangiovese 2018  Front Label
        Di Majo Norante Sangiovese 2018
        Sangiovese from Italy
          4.7 8 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $9.99
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          15
          9 99
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        • Domaine Bousquet Gaia Red Blend 2018  Front Label
          Domaine Bousquet Gaia Red Blend 2018
          Other Red Blends from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
          • TA93
          • JS91
          • WE90
          3.7 6 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $15.99
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          20
          15 99
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        • Candoni Organic Merlot 2018  Front Label
          Candoni Organic Merlot 2018
          Merlot from Veneto, Italy
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            Currently Unavailable $14.99
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            14 99
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          • Chateau Fonroque (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018  Front Label
            Chateau Fonroque (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
            Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
            • WS96
            • JD95
            • JS93
            • RP93
            • D92
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $34.97
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            34 97
            34 97
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          • Pax Quail Run Vineyard Valdiguie 2018 Front Label
            Pax Quail Run Vineyard Valdiguie 2018
            Valdiguie from North Coast, California
            • V92
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $31.99
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            31 99
            31 99
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          • De Martino Gallardia Cinsault 2018  Front Label
            De Martino Gallardia Cinsault 2018
            Cinsault from Chile
            • RP91
            • V89
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $20.99
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            20 99
            20 99
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          • Chateau Haut-Bergey (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018  Front Label
            Chateau Haut-Bergey (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
            • WE94
            • D93
            • JS92
            • RP92
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $23.97
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            23 97
            23 97
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          • Chateau Pontet-Canet (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2018  Front Label
            Chateau Pontet-Canet (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
            • RP99
            • JD98
            • WE98
            • JS98
            • D96
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $264.97
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            264 97
            264 97
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          • Archery Summit Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
            Archery Summit Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2018
            Pinot Noir from Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $64.99
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              64 99
              64 99
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            • Chateau La Mondotte (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018  Front Label
              Chateau La Mondotte (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
              Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
              • WS99
              • JS98
              • JD97
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $229.97
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              229 97
              229 97
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            • Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2018  Front Label
              Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
              Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
              • WS98
              • V98
              • JD97
              • WE96
              • RP96
              • JS95
              • D94
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $169.97
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              169 97
              169 97
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            • Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere 6-Pack OWC (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018  Front Label
              Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere 6-Pack OWC (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
              Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
              • WS98
              • V98
              • JD97
              • WE96
              • RP96
              • JS95
              • D94
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $509.97
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              509 97
              509 97
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