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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 2017  Front Label
    Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from California
    • WE90
    4.1 177 Ratings
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  • Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Front Label
    Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc 2018
    Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
    • D92
    • WE91
    • WS90
    4.1 24 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    20
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  • Olivier Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 2017  Front Label
    Olivier Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 2017
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WE92
    • WS92
    • BH91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.99
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    97
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  • Honig Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Front Label
    Honig Sauvignon Blanc 2018
    Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California
    • JS92
    • WS91
    • WW90
    4.2 68 Ratings
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    22
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  • Joseph Drouhin Macon Villages 2018  Front Label
    Joseph Drouhin Macon Villages 2018
    Chardonnay from Macon Villages, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
      4.3 16 Ratings
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      16
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    • Novellum Chardonnay 2017 Front Label
      Novellum Chardonnay 2017
      Chardonnay from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
      • JD92
      3.7 51 Ratings
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      13 99
      13 99
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    • Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2017 Front Label
      Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2017
      Chardonnay from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
      • JD92
      • V90
      • RP89
      4.2 37 Ratings
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      22
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    • Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
      Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay 2017
      Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
      • JS96
      • JD94
      • RP93
      4.2 49 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $39.99
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      48
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    • Vietti Cascinetta Moscato d'Asti 2019  Front Label
      Vietti Cascinetta Moscato d'Asti 2019
      Muscat from Asti, Piedmont, Italy
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $16.99
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        16 99
        16 99
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      • Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay 2016  Front Label
        Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay 2016
        Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
        • D97
        • JS92
        3.9 20 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $41.99
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        45
        41 99
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      • King Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Gris 2017  Front Label
        King Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Gris 2017
        Pinot Gris/Grigio from Willamette Valley, Oregon
        • WW89
        4.3 19 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $19.99
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        19 99
        19 99
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      • Brocard Sainte Claire Chablis Vieilles Vignes 2018 Front Label
        Brocard Sainte Claire Chablis Vieilles Vignes 2018
        Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $36.99
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          36 99
          36 99
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        • Allan Scott Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018  Front Label
          Allan Scott Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018
          Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
          • WS90
          • WE90
          • WW90
          4.5 17 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $14.99
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          16
          14 99
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        • Roserock by Drouhin Oregon Eola-Amity Hills Chardonnay 2016  Front Label
          Roserock by Drouhin Oregon Eola-Amity Hills Chardonnay 2016
          Chardonnay from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
          • JS94
          • WE92
          • WS91
          4.4 18 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $36.99
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          36 99
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        • Eppa SupraFruta Organic White Sangria Front Label
          Eppa SupraFruta Organic White Sangria
          Other White Blends from California
            3.8 49 Ratings
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          • Banyan Monterey County Gewurztraminer 2017 Front Label
            Banyan Monterey County Gewurztraminer 2017
            Gewurztraminer from Monterey, Central Coast, California
            • WE90
            4.1 11 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $14.99
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            14 99
            14 99
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          • Loimer Lois Gruner Veltliner 2018  Front Label
            Loimer Lois Gruner Veltliner 2018
            Gruner Veltliner from Austria
            • WE89
            4.3 5 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $18.99
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            18 99
            18 99
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          • Angove Family Winemakers Nine Vines Moscato 2018 Front Label
            Angove Family Winemakers Nine Vines Moscato 2018
            Muscat from South East Australia, Australia
              4.7 6 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $10.99
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              12
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            • Vigilance Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Front Label
              Vigilance Sauvignon Blanc 2018
              Sauvignon Blanc from Red Hills, Lake County, North Coast, California
              • WE91
              • WW90
              3.6 63 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $13.99
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              25
              13 99
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            • J Vineyards Russian River Chardonnay 2017 Front Label
              J Vineyards Russian River Chardonnay 2017
              Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
              • JS92
              • WW91
              • WE90
              3.8 10 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $29.99
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              29 99
              29 99
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            • Babich Headwaters Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Front Label
              Babich Headwaters Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2018
              Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
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                21 99
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              • Ziobaffa Organic Pinot Grigio 2019  Front Label
                Ziobaffa Organic Pinot Grigio 2019
                Pinot Gris/Grigio from Puglia, Italy
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $12.99
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                  12 99
                  12 99
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                • Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Riesling 2018 Front Label
                  Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Riesling 2018
                  Riesling from Eden Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
                  • JS94
                  • WE92
                  • WW92
                  3.8 29 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $16.99
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                  20
                  16 99
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                • Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
                  Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay 2018
                  Chardonnay from Livermore Valley, Central Coast, California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                    18
                    13 99
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                  • Grgich Hills Estate Fume Blanc 2016 Front Label
                    Grgich Hills Estate Fume Blanc 2016
                    Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California
                    • WE91
                    3.8 13 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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                    31
                    29 99
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