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Green / Sustainable Wine

Natural Wine, Organic & Sustainable Defined ...

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Wines marked with the green leaf icon, reds, whites, sparkling, and so on, 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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  • Quintessa  2018  Front Label
    Quintessa 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • JS99
    • WE98
    • RP97
    • WS93
    4.6 31 Ratings
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  • Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WS93
    4.3 73 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $55.99
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  • Markham Merlot 2018  Front Label
    Markham Merlot 2018
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WS91
    4.2 95 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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  • Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS95
    • WS94
    • WE92
    4.0 25 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $95.99
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  • Hall Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Hall Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • RP97
    • JD97
    • WS95
    • WW95
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $184.99
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    200
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  • Bodegas Valderiz Ribera del Duero 2018  Front Label
    Bodegas Valderiz Ribera del Duero 2018
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • WS95
    • JS93
    3.9 78 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $35.99
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  • Soter Vineyards Mineral Springs Ranch Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Soter Vineyards Mineral Springs Ranch Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS97
    • V95
    • WE94
    • WS93
    4.5 9 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $74.99
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  • Penfolds Kalimna Bin 28 Shiraz 2018  Front Label
    Penfolds Kalimna Bin 28 Shiraz 2018
    Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • JS94
    • RP93
    • WS93
    • WW92
    • W&S92
    3.9 194 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $31.99
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  • Raymond Reserve Selection Cabernet Sauvignon (375ML half-bottle) 2018  Front Label
    Raymond Reserve Selection Cabernet Sauvignon (375ML half-bottle) 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • D93
    • V92
    • RP92
    • WS91
    • WW90
    • JD90
    4.3 14 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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  • Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
    • JS94
    • WS92
    • W&S90
    3.5 12 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $47.99
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  • Chateau Fonplegade  2018  Front Label
    Chateau Fonplegade 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
    • JS95
    • RP95
    • JD95
    • D94
    • WS93
    • WE93
    4.0 17 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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    49 99
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  • North Valley Vineyards Reserve Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    North Valley Vineyards Reserve Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS92
    • WE92
    4.1 7 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $55.99
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  • Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserve 2018  Front Label
    Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserve 2018
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • JD97
    • RP97
    • WS94
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $184.99
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    210
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  • Grgich Hills Estate Merlot 2018  Front Label
    Grgich Hills Estate Merlot 2018
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $42.99
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    42 99
    42 99
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  • Argiano Solengo 2018  Front Label
    Argiano Solengo 2018
    Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS96
    • WS93
    • RP93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $78.99
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    90
    78 99
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  • Argyle Reserve Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2018  Front Label
    Argyle Reserve Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2018
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS92
    • TP92
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    19 99
    19 99
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  • Ferrari-Carano Siena 2018  Front Label
    Ferrari-Carano Siena 2018
    Other Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
    • WS90
    3.9 37 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $23.99
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    26
    23 99
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  • Domaine des Bosquets Gigondas La Colline 2018  Front Label
    Domaine des Bosquets Gigondas La Colline 2018
    Grenache from Gigondas, Rhone, France
    • JD97
    • WE96
    • RP95
    • WS94
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $79.99
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    79 99
    79 99
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  • Tolaini Al Passo Toscana 2018  Front Label
    Tolaini Al Passo Toscana 2018
    Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS95
    • V93
    • WS92
    3.9 18 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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    27
    24 99
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  • Santa Ema Reserve Merlot 2018  Front Label
    Santa Ema Reserve Merlot 2018
    Merlot from Maipo Valley, Chile
    • WS90
    3.9 31 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    18
    14 99
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  • Davis Bynum Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Davis Bynum Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE91
    • JS91
    • WS90
    4.6 10 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $33.99
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    33 99
    33 99
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  • Santa Ema Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Santa Ema Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Maipo Valley, Chile
    • WS91
    • RP90
    • W&S90
    • WW90
    3.8 51 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    18
    14 99
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  • Argiano Non Confunditur 2018  Front Label
    Argiano Non Confunditur 2018
    Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS93
    • WS90
    4.1 28 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $20.99
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    20 99
    20 99
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  • Tua Rita Perlato del Bosco 2018  Front Label
    Tua Rita Perlato del Bosco 2018
    Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
    • RP93
    • JS93
    • WS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $32.99
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    32 99
    32 99
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  • Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Canterbury, New Zealand
    • WS90
    • JS90
    • WW90
    3.2 10 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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    28
    26 99
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