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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
    4.5 99 Ratings
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  • Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WW92
    4.2 18 Ratings
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  • Cristom Mt. Jefferson Cuvee Pinot Noir 2019  Front Label
    Cristom Mt. Jefferson Cuvee Pinot Noir 2019
    Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS97
    • RP95
    • WW91
    • WE91
    • WS91
    4.1 52 Ratings
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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
    3.8 296 Ratings
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  • Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir 2020  Front Label
    Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir 2020
    Pinot Noir from California
    • WW89
    3.3 15 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $12.99
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  • Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Syrah Reserva 2019  Front Label
    Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Syrah Reserva 2019
    Syrah/Shiraz from Maipo Valley, Chile
    • JS94
    • WW92
    4.0 156 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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  • Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2019  Front Label
    Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2019
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • JD94
    • JS94
    • WW92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Slices Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2020  Front Label
    Slices Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WW90
    4.0 22 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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  • Chateau Blaignan  2016  Front Label
    Chateau Blaignan 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Medoc, Bordeaux, France
    • JS92
    • WE90
    • WW90
    4.1 137 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $25.99
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  • Chateau Larose-Trintaudon  2016  Front Label
    Chateau Larose-Trintaudon 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
    • JS92
    • WE91
    • WW91
    4.2 74 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $27.99
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  • Nicolas-Jay Own-Rooted Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Nicolas-Jay Own-Rooted Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • D96
    • JS94
    • WW94
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $94.99
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  • Zorzal Gran Terroir Malbec 2018  Front Label
    Zorzal Gran Terroir Malbec 2018
    Malbec from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
    • JS93
    • RP92
    • WW92
    2.9 14 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $23.99
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  • Roco The Stalker Pinot Noir 2019  Front Label
    Roco The Stalker Pinot Noir 2019
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WW91
    4.6 27 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $31.99
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  • Merryvale Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Merryvale Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S92
    • WW92
    • JD91
    • WE91
    • RP90
    • JS90
    4.6 8 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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  • Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Origine 2018  Front Label
    Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Origine 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Maipo Valley, Chile
    • JS94
    • V92
    • D92
    • WW92
    4.1 101 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $36.99
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  • Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2019  Front Label
    Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Santa Margarita Ranch, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • WW90
    3.9 70 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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  • Gundlach Bundschu Mountain Cuvee 2019  Front Label
    Gundlach Bundschu Mountain Cuvee 2019
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
    • JD93
    • WW91
    3.9 120 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $20.99
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    20 99
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  • Hall Ellie's Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Hall Ellie's Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WW93
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Paul Dolan Vineyards Organically Grown Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    Paul Dolan Vineyards Organically Grown Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
    • WW90
    • WE90
    3.9 204 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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  • Volker Eisele Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
    Volker Eisele Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Chiles Valley, Napa Valley, California
    • SJ94
    • WE92
    • WW91
    • JS90
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $74.99
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  • Rodney Strong Alexander Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Rodney Strong Alexander Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WW90
    3.9 19 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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    28
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  • J Vineyards Russian River Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    J Vineyards Russian River Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • D96
    • RP91
    • WW91
    • WE91
    4.3 26 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $35.99
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    42
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  • Albert Bichot Vosne-Romanee Domaine du Clos Frantin 2019  Front Label
    Albert Bichot Vosne-Romanee Domaine du Clos Frantin 2019
    Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WW94
    • V91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $119.99
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  • Domaine Laroque Cite de Carcassonne Pinot Noir 2019  Front Label
    Domaine Laroque Cite de Carcassonne Pinot Noir 2019
    Pinot Noir from Languedoc, South of France, France
    • WW90
    4.0 161 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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    15 99
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  • My Favorite Neighbor Harvey and Harriet Red Blend 2019  Front Label
    My Favorite Neighbor Harvey and Harriet Red Blend 2019
    Other Red Blends from Central Coast, California
    • JD94
    • WW91
    4.2 20 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    39 99
    39 99
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