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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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  • Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino 2008 Front Label
    Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino 2008
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
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    • RP93
    • WE92
    • JS91
    • WS91
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  • Inglenook Rubicon (375ML half-bottle) 2008 Front Label
    Inglenook Rubicon (375ML half-bottle) 2008
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • WE95
    • CG95
    • W&S93
    • WS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $78.99
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    105
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  • d'Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2008 Front Label
    d'Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2008
    Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • W&S90
    3.4 24 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $18.29
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    18 29
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  • Henschke Keyneton Estate Euphonium 2008 Front Label
    Henschke Keyneton Estate Euphonium 2008
    Other Red Blends from Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • W&S93
    • WS92
    • RP91
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    Currently Unavailable $41.99
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  • Inglenook Rubicon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2008 Front Label
    Inglenook Rubicon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2008
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • WE95
    • CG95
    • W&S93
    • WS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $389.00
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    500
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  • Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso Santo Spirito 2008 Front Label
    Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso Santo Spirito 2008
    Other Red Blends from Sicily, Italy
    • RP95
    • W&S93
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $39.97
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  • Storybook Mountain Antaeus 2008 Front Label
    Storybook Mountain Antaeus 2008
    Other Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S93
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $32.99
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    40
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  • Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Front Label
    Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
    • W&S93
    • WE91
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $32.99
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  • Matetic Corralillo Syrah 2008 Front Label
    Matetic Corralillo Syrah 2008
    Syrah/Shiraz from Chile
    • W&S92
    • WS90
    • WE90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $23.99
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    28
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  • J. Lohr Fog's Reach Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
    J. Lohr Fog's Reach Pinot Noir 2008
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
    • W&S93
    • WE91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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  • Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    33 99
    29 99
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  • Marco Abella Mas Mallola 2008 Front Label
    Marco Abella Mas Mallola 2008
    Other Red Blends from Priorat, Spain
    • W&S93
    • WE92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $62.99
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    62 99
    62 99
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  • Ghost Block Oakville Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Front Label
    Ghost Block Oakville Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
    • RP92
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $52.99
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  • Boutari Naoussa 2008 Front Label
    Boutari Naoussa 2008
    Other Red Wine from Greece
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    16 95
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  • Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2008 Front Label
    Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2008
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • WS90
    • W&S90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $48.95
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    55
    48 95
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  • WillaKenzie Estate Pierre Leon Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
    WillaKenzie Estate Pierre Leon Pinot Noir 2008
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS92
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $33.99
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    33 99
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  • Escarpment Over the Edge Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
    Escarpment Over the Edge Pinot Noir 2008
    Pinot Noir from Martinborough, New Zealand
    • W&S90
    2.8 26 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $13.49
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    15
    13 49
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  • Frog's Leap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Front Label
    Frog's Leap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WE92
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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    75
    69 99
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  • Adega Pena das Donas Ribeira Sacra Verdes Matas Mencia 2008 Front Label
    Adega Pena das Donas Ribeira Sacra Verdes Matas Mencia 2008
    Mencia from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • W&S95
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    21 99
    21 99
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  • Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2008 Front Label
    Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2008
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS93
    • RP92
    • W&S92
    • WS90
    • WE90
    • V90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $57.99
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    57 99
    57 99
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  • Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (3 Liter Bottle) 2008 Front Label
    Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (3 Liter Bottle) 2008
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California
    • W&S94
    • WE91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $329.99
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    329 99
    329 99
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  • WillaKenzie Estate Estate Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
    WillaKenzie Estate Estate Pinot Noir 2008
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • W&S93
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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    24 99
    24 99
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  • WillaKenzie Estate Estate Cuvee Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2008 Front Label
    WillaKenzie Estate Estate Cuvee Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2008
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • W&S93
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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    15 99
    15 99
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  • Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S95
    • WE91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $36.99
    Try the 2016 Vintage 39 99
    36 99
    36 99
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  • Matetic Corralillo Winemaker's Blend 2008 Front Label
    Matetic Corralillo Winemaker's Blend 2008
    Other Red Blends from Chile
    • W&S90
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    29 99
    29 99
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