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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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  • Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2016  Front Label
    Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2016
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS97
    • D97
    • WE96
    • RP94
    • JD94
    • V94
    • WS93
    4.5 50 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $57.99
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  • Chateau Pontet-Canet  2016 Front Label
    Chateau Pontet-Canet 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • WE100
    • V99
    • RP98
    • D98
    • JD98
    • JS97
    • WS95
    4.4 83 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $174.99
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    174 99
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  • Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WW93
    • WE92
    4.5 153 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $55.99
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    55 99
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  • La Magia Brunello di Montalcino 2016  Front Label
    La Magia Brunello di Montalcino 2016
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS96
    • D95
    • JD94
    • WE90
    4.2 26 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $44.99
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    60
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  • Barton & Guestier Chateau Magnol Cru Bourgeois 2016  Front Label
    Barton & Guestier Chateau Magnol Cru Bourgeois 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
    • D95
    • JS91
    • WW91
    • WE90
    • V90
    4.0 42 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $28.99
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    28 99
    28 99
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  • Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2016  Front Label
    Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2016
    Sangiovese from Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS93
    • WE93
    4.0 46 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $31.99
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    31 99
    31 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 50 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $27.99
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    28 99
    27 99
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  • Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico Riserva Berardo 2016  Front Label
    Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico Riserva Berardo 2016
    Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS96
    • RP92
    • V90
    • WE90
    4.0 37 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $32.99
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    35
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  • Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 2016  Front Label
    Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 2016
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JD95
    • WE93
    • RP93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $56.99
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    56 99
    56 99
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  • Chateau Blaignan  2016  Front Label
    Chateau Blaignan 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Medoc, Bordeaux, France
    • JS92
    • WE90
    • WW90
    4.2 113 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $25.99
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    25 99
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  • Yalumba The Signature Cabernet/Shiraz 2016  Front Label
    Yalumba The Signature Cabernet/Shiraz 2016
    Other Red Blends from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • JS96
    • D96
    • RP94
    • WE94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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    70
    59 99
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  • Adelsheim Breaking Ground Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
    Adelsheim Breaking Ground Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WE91
    • WW91
    4.3 14 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $43.99
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    43 99
    43 99
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  • Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016  Front Label
    Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016
    Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS97
    • RP94
    • WE93
    • D92
    4.1 7 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $45.99
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    45 99
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  • Salcheto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2016  Front Label
    Salcheto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2016
    Sangiovese from Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy
    • WS92
    • WE92
    • W&S92
    4.1 167 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    29 99
    29 99
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  • Angove Family Winemakers The Medhyk Shiraz 2016  Front Label
    Angove Family Winemakers The Medhyk Shiraz 2016
    Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • WE91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $99.99
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    99 99
    99 99
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  • Yangarra Estate Vineyard Ironheart Shiraz 2016  Front Label
    Yangarra Estate Vineyard Ironheart Shiraz 2016
    Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • RP96
    • JS95
    • WE95
    • W&S94
    • WS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $99.99
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    99 99
    99 99
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  • Cordella Brunello di Montalcino 2016  Front Label
    Cordella Brunello di Montalcino 2016
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS95
    • WE91
    • JD90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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    65
    49 99
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  • Heinrich Blaufrankisch 2016  Front Label
    Heinrich Blaufrankisch 2016
    Blaufrankisch from Neusiedlersee, Austria
    • WE90
    3.4 15 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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    26 99
    26 99
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  • Rodney Strong Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Rodney Strong Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California
    • WW92
    • D92
    • CG90
    • WE90
    4.3 19 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $44.99
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    44 99
    44 99
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  • Benton Lane First Class Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
    Benton Lane First Class Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WE91
    • JS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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    64 99
    64 99
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  • d'Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier 2016  Front Label
    d'Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier 2016
    Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • WE92
    • JS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    29 99
    29 99
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  • Henschke Keyneton Estate Euphonium 2016  Front Label
    Henschke Keyneton Estate Euphonium 2016
    Other Red Blends from Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • WE94
    • RP93
    • WS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $71.99
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    71 99
    71 99
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  • Marchesi di Barolo Tradizione Barbaresco 2016  Front Label
    Marchesi di Barolo Tradizione Barbaresco 2016
    Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
    • WE93
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $58.99
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    58 99
    58 99
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  • OVIS Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    OVIS Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from High Valley, Lake County, North Coast, California
    • WE93
    4.7 20 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $55.99
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    55 99
    55 99
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  • OVIS Petite Sirah 2016 Front Label
    OVIS Petite Sirah 2016
    Petite Sirah from High Valley, Lake County, North Coast, California
    • WE93
    4.4 19 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $55.99
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    55 99
    55 99
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