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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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  • Double Canyon Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 Front Label
    Double Canyon Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • TP93
    • D92
    • W&S92
    • JS91
    4.1 242 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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  • Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Santa Margarita Ranch, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • WW90
    • W&S90
    4.0 248 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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    22
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  • Querciabella Chianti Classico 2015 Front Label
    Querciabella Chianti Classico 2015
    Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
    • D97
    • JS92
    • WS92
    • W&S91
    • RP90
    3.9 112 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    33
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  • Dominio de Pingus Psi 2017  Front Label
    Dominio de Pingus Psi 2017
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • W&S90
    4.4 14 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $36.99
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  • Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard Fortuna Terrae Malbec 2016  Front Label
    Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard Fortuna Terrae Malbec 2016
    Malbec from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
    • RP97
    • JS96
    • W&S92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $134.99
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    140
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  • J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • TP93
    • WE91
    • W&S90
    4.5 15 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    35
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  • Craggy Range Winery Te Muna Road Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017 Front Label
    Craggy Range Winery Te Muna Road Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Martinborough, New Zealand
    • JS94
    • WE91
    • W&S90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $37.99
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  • Michel Magnien Morey-Saint-Denis 2017  Front Label
    Michel Magnien Morey-Saint-Denis 2017
    Pinot Noir from Morey-St-Denis, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • W&S91
    • BH90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $57.99
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  • Robert Oatley Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Front Label
    Robert Oatley Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
    • JS93
    • D91
    • W&S90
    3.7 69 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $16.99
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    20
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  • Cuvaison Pinot Noir 2017 Front Label
    Cuvaison Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
    • JS92
    • W&S90
    • WE90
    4.6 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $42.99
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    42 99
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  • Yalumba The Signature Cabernet/Shiraz 2015  Front Label
    Yalumba The Signature Cabernet/Shiraz 2015
    Other Red Blends from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • JS93
    • WE93
    • RP93
    • WW92
    • W&S92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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  • Cristom Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
    Cristom Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS97
    • V94
    • WS93
    • W&S92
    • RP92
    • WE90
    4.5 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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  • Cristom Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2017 Front Label
    Cristom Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2017
    Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS97
    • V94
    • WS93
    • W&S92
    • RP92
    • WE90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $36.99
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    36 99
    36 99
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  • Felsina Berardenga Chianti Classico 2016 Front Label
    Felsina Berardenga Chianti Classico 2016
    Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS93
    • W&S92
    • RP92
    • WS91
    4.0 28 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $28.99
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    28 99
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  • Round Pond Rutherford Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Front Label
    Round Pond Rutherford Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • V93
    • W&S92
    • WS91
    • RP90
    • WE90
    4.6 8 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $119.99
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    119 99
    119 99
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  • De Martino Viejas Tinajas Cinsault 2016 Front Label
    De Martino Viejas Tinajas Cinsault 2016
    Cinsault from Chile
    • W&S95
    • RP93
    • JS92
    3.4 11 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    43
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  • L'Ecole 41 Estate Merlot 2016  Front Label
    L'Ecole 41 Estate Merlot 2016
    Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • JS95
    • JD93
    • W&S90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $37.99
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    37 99
    37 99
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  • Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Rouge 2016  Front Label
    Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Rouge 2016
    Rhone Red Blends from Adelaida District, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • WS94
    • W&S94
    • V94
    • JS94
    • JD93
    • RP92
    4.6 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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    64 99
    64 99
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  • Keenan Napa Valley Merlot 2014 Front Label
    Keenan Napa Valley Merlot 2014
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S90
    3.7 6 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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    49 99
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  • Michel Magnien Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
    Michel Magnien Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • WW91
    • W&S90
    3.8 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $32.99
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    32 99
    32 99
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  • Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel 2015  Front Label
    Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S93
    • WW92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $41.99
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    41 99
    41 99
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  • J Vineyards Russian River Pinot Noir 2017 Front Label
    J Vineyards Russian River Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE91
    • JS91
    • RP90
    • W&S90
    4.2 10 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    39 99
    39 99
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  • Tortoise Creek The Revivalist Merlot 2017  Front Label
    Tortoise Creek The Revivalist Merlot 2017
    Merlot from Clarksburg, Yolo County, California
    • W&S89
    4.1 6 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $13.99
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    13 99
    13 99
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  • D. Ventura Vina do Burato 2015 Front Label
    D. Ventura Vina do Burato 2015
    Mencia from Spain
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    21 99
    21 99
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  • Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2010 Front Label
    Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2010
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS98
    • RP97
    • WE97
    • W&S96
    • WS94
    4.9 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $559.99
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    559 99
    559 99
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