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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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  • Wente Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Wente Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Livermore Valley, Central Coast, California
      4.2 65 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
      4.3 80 Ratings
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      17
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    • Hahn Monterey Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
      Hahn Monterey Pinot Noir 2018
      Pinot Noir from Monterey, Central Coast, California
      • WW89
      3.9 203 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $13.99
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      15
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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
      4.1 81 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $24.99
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      30
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    • Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
      Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir 2018
      Pinot Noir from California
      • WW90
      • WE90
      3.8 442 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $12.99
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      18
      12 99
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    • Errazuriz Max Reserva Carmenere 2018  Front Label
      Errazuriz Max Reserva Carmenere 2018
      Carmenere from Aconcagua Valley, Chile
      • JS92
      • RP90
      3.8 104 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $15.99
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      20
      15 99
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    • Il Palagio Roxanne Toscana Rosso 2018  Front Label
      Il Palagio Roxanne Toscana Rosso 2018
      Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
      • JS93
      • WW91
      4.0 61 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $21.99
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      21 99
      21 99
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    • Gundlach Bundschu Mountain Cuvee 2018  Front Label
      Gundlach Bundschu Mountain Cuvee 2018
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
        4.1 62 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $17.99
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        20
        17 99
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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
        • WE89
        4.1 11 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $24.99
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        24 99
        24 99
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      • Dashwood Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
        Dashwood Pinot Noir 2018
        Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
        • JS90
        3.8 7 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $15.99
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        15 99
        15 99
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      • Loveblock Pinot Noir 2018 Front Label
        Loveblock Pinot Noir 2018
        Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
        • WS93
        • WE90
        3.9 133 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $31.99
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        31 99
        31 99
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      • Ornellaia Le Volte dell'Ornellaia 2018  Front Label
        Ornellaia Le Volte dell'Ornellaia 2018
        Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
        • JD90
        3.7 11 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $29.99
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        34
        29 99
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      • Vasse Felix Filius Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
        Vasse Felix Filius Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
        • WW90
        4.1 31 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $27.99
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        27 99
        27 99
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      • Yalumba Y Series Shiraz and Viognier 2018  Front Label
        Yalumba Y Series Shiraz and Viognier 2018
        Syrah/Shiraz from South Australia, Australia
        • WS90
        3.3 20 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $12.99
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        12 99
        12 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
        • JS91
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $49.99
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        49 99
        49 99
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      • Campo Viejo Tempranillo 2018  Front Label
        Campo Viejo Tempranillo 2018
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • WS89
        4.0 45 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $11.99
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        11 99
        11 99
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      • Old Soul Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
        Old Soul Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Lodi, California
          3.9 5 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $12.99
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          16
          12 99
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        • Shannon Ridge Buck Shack Red 2018  Front Label
          Shannon Ridge Buck Shack Red 2018
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Lake County, North Coast, California
            4.2 21 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $19.99
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            35
            19 99
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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
            4.0 170 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $13.99
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            23
            13 99
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          • Terrazas de los Andes Altos del Plata Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
            Terrazas de los Andes Altos del Plata Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendoza, Argentina
              4.1 9 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $14.99
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              14 99
              14 99
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            • Tiamo Chianti 2018  Front Label
              Tiamo Chianti 2018
              Sangiovese from Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
                4.2 12 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                14 99
                14 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
                4.1 8 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $18.99
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                22
                18 99
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              • Robert Oatley Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
                Robert Oatley Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
                Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
                • WW90
                3.8 24 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                20
                17 99
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              • Castiglion del Bosco Dainero 2018  Front Label
                Castiglion del Bosco Dainero 2018
                Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
                • JS92
                4.0 30 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                19 99
                19 99
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              • Kenwood Merlot 2018 Front Label
                Kenwood Merlot 2018
                Merlot from North Coast, California
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $12.99
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                  12 99
                  12 99
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