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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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  • M. Chapoutier Crozes Ermitage Varonniers 2012 Front Label
    M. Chapoutier Crozes Ermitage Varonniers 2012
    Syrah/Shiraz from Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone, France
    • WS92
    • RP92
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  • Bodegas Mas Alta Romani La Basseta 2012 Front Label
    Bodegas Mas Alta Romani La Basseta 2012
    Rhone Red Blends from Priorat, Spain
    • RP94
    • WS91
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  • Balnaves Cabernet-Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Balnaves Cabernet-Merlot 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia
    • WS93
    3.5 7 Ratings
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  • Georges Vernay Cote-Rotie Maison Rouge 2012 Front Label
    Georges Vernay Cote-Rotie Maison Rouge 2012
    Syrah/Shiraz from Cote Rotie, Rhone, France
    • WS93
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  • Ponzi Tavola Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Ponzi Tavola Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS91
    • WE90
    3.4 7 Ratings
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  • Wirra Wirra Dead Ringer Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Front Label
    Wirra Wirra Dead Ringer Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
    Cabernet Sauvignon from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • WS91
    • RP91
    • WW91
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  • Faiveley Pommard Rugiens Premier Cru 2012 Front Label
    Faiveley Pommard Rugiens Premier Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS92
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  • Domaine de la Vougeraie Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Damodes Premier Cru 2012 Front Label
    Domaine de la Vougeraie Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Damodes Premier Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS93
    • W&S93
    • RP91
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  • Georges Vernay St Joseph Terres d'Encre 2012 Front Label
    Georges Vernay St Joseph Terres d'Encre 2012
    Syrah/Shiraz from Saint-Joseph, Rhone, France
    • W&S93
    • WS91
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  • Hecht & Bannier Faugeres 2012 Front Label
    Hecht & Bannier Faugeres 2012
    Other Red Blends from Languedoc, South of France, France
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • M. Chapoutier Cote-Rotie La Mordoree 2012 Front Label
    M. Chapoutier Cote-Rotie La Mordoree 2012
    Syrah/Shiraz from Cote Rotie, Rhone, France
    • RP97
    • WS96
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Gilles Robin Crozes-Hermitage Cuvee Alberic Bouvet 2012 Front Label
    Gilles Robin Crozes-Hermitage Cuvee Alberic Bouvet 2012
    Syrah/Shiraz from Hermitage, Rhone, France
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Rouge (375ML half-bottle) 2012 Front Label
    Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Rouge (375ML half-bottle) 2012
    Rhone Red Blends from Central Coast, California
    • RP92
    • TP91
    • WS90
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  • Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee des Cadettes 2012 Front Label
    Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee des Cadettes 2012
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • WS93
    • RP92
    • WW92
    4.9 6 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $134.99
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    134 99
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  • Markham Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Markham Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WS89
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  • Fratelli Revello Barolo Gattera 2012 Front Label
    Fratelli Revello Barolo Gattera 2012
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • WS93
    • JS92
    • WE91
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  • Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Olivets 2012 Front Label
    Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Olivets 2012
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • WS91
    • RP90
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    Currently Unavailable $38.99
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  • Eric Texier Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2012 Front Label
    Eric Texier Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2012
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • WS94
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  • Francis Tannahill The Hermit Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Francis Tannahill The Hermit Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS92
    • WE92
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  • Azelia Barolo Bricco Fiasco 2012 Front Label
    Azelia Barolo Bricco Fiasco 2012
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • JS95
    • WS91
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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  • Vasse Felix Heytesbury Red Blend 2012 Front Label
    Vasse Felix Heytesbury Red Blend 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
    • JS95
    • WE94
    • WS92
    • RP92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $89.99
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  • Yalumba Paradox Shiraz 2012 Front Label
    Yalumba Paradox Shiraz 2012
    Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • JS93
    • W&S92
    • WE91
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $36.99
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  • Lucienne Smith Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Lucienne Smith Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
    • WE92
    • WS91
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    Currently Unavailable $40.99
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  • Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012 Front Label
    Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP96
    • TP96
    • WS95
    4.4 15 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $99.00
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  • Vietti Barolo Castiglione 2012 Front Label
    Vietti Barolo Castiglione 2012
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • JS93
    • RP93
    • W&S93
    • WS91
    3.8 5 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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