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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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  • Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from California
    • WE90
    4.1 1038 Ratings
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  • Oyster Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2020  Front Label
    Oyster Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2020
    Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
      4.3 77 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $13.99
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    • Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Les Baronnes Blanc 2019  Front Label
      Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Les Baronnes Blanc 2019
      Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, Loire, France
      • WW92
      4.1 88 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $26.99
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      26 99
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    • Allan Scott Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2020  Front Label
      Allan Scott Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2020
      Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
      • WS92
      4.0 31 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $16.99
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      16 99
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    • Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay 2019  Front Label
      Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay 2019
      Chardonnay from Livermore Valley, Central Coast, California
        3.9 27 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $12.99
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        12 99
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      • Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc 2020  Front Label
        Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc 2020
        Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
          4.3 27 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $18.99
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          18 99
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        • Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2020  Front Label
          Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2020
          Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
          • JS92
          • D92
          • V91
          4.6 46 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $42.99
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          42 99
          42 99
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        • Joseph Drouhin Macon Villages 2019 Front Label
          Joseph Drouhin Macon Villages 2019
          Chardonnay from Macon Villages, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
          • WW92
          4.0 43 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $21.99
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          21 99
          21 99
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        • Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2019  Front Label
          Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2019
          Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
          • D91
          • WS90
          • WW89
          4.2 20 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $18.99
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          18 99
          18 99
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        • Parducci Small Lot Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
          Parducci Small Lot Chardonnay 2018
          Chardonnay from Mendocino, California
            3.8 95 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $12.99
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            15
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          • Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2020  Front Label
            Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2020
            Viognier from South Australia, Australia
              0.0 0 Ratings
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              12 99
              12 99
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            • Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
              Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
              Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
              • WS92
              • WE91
              3.9 243 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $19.99
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              22
              19 99
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            • St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc 2019  Front Label
              St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc 2019
              Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California
              • JS91
              4.3 6 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $19.99
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              19 99
              19 99
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            • Invivo X by Sarah Jessica Parker Sauvignon Blanc 2019  Front Label
              Invivo X by Sarah Jessica Parker Sauvignon Blanc 2019
              Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
              • WW90
              • WS90
              4.2 565 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $19.99
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              19 99
              19 99
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            • Moniker La Ribera Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
              Moniker La Ribera Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
              Chardonnay from Mendocino, California
              • WE91
              4.0 72 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $18.99
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              23
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            • Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
              Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay 2018
              Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
                4.2 48 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $22.99
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                22 99
                22 99
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              • Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2019  Front Label
                Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2019
                Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
                • RP92
                • V92
                • WE90
                3.9 8 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $22.99
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                22 99
                22 99
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              • St. Supery Moscato 2018  Front Label
                St. Supery Moscato 2018
                Muscat from Napa Valley, California
                  4.1 138 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                  25
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                • Clos Henri Sauvignon Blanc 2018  Front Label
                  Clos Henri Sauvignon Blanc 2018
                  Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
                  • WE94
                  • JS93
                  • RP90
                  4.0 28 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $29.99
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                  29 99
                  29 99
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                • Pascal Jolivet Sancerre 2019  Front Label
                  Pascal Jolivet Sancerre 2019
                  Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, Loire, France
                    3.7 15 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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                    29 99
                    29 99
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                  • Errazuriz Max Reserva Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
                    Errazuriz Max Reserva Chardonnay 2018
                    Chardonnay from Aconcagua Valley, Chile
                    • TA92
                    3.2 33 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                    20
                    15 99
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                  • Elk Cove Pinot Gris 2019  Front Label
                    Elk Cove Pinot Gris 2019
                    Pinot Gris/Grigio from Willamette Valley, Oregon
                    • WE92
                    • TP91
                    • RP90
                    4.1 19 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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                    18 99
                    18 99
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                  • Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc 2020  Front Label
                    Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc 2020
                    Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
                    • JS92
                    • V90
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                    19 99
                    19 99
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                  • Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Riesling 2019  Front Label
                    Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Riesling 2019
                    Riesling from Eden Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
                      3.8 44 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                      17 99
                      17 99
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                    • Joseph Drouhin Meursault 2018  Front Label
                      Joseph Drouhin Meursault 2018
                      Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                      • V91
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $89.99
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                      89 99
                      89 99
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