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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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  • Tilia Torrontes 2011 Front Label
    Tilia Torrontes 2011
    Torrontes from Argentina
    • RP90
    3.5 15 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $10.99
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  • Domaine Jean-Marc Morey Chassagne Montrachet Premier Cru Les Caillerets 2011 Front Label
    Domaine Jean-Marc Morey Chassagne Montrachet Premier Cru Les Caillerets 2011
    Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP93
    • BH91
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  • Zind-Humbrecht Brand Grand Cru Riesling 2011 Front Label
    Zind-Humbrecht Brand Grand Cru Riesling 2011
    Riesling from Alsace, France
    • WS92
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $99.99
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  • Ladera Sagrada Castelo do Papa Godello 2011 Front Label
    Ladera Sagrada Castelo do Papa Godello 2011
    Godello from Spain
    • W&S93
    • RP90
    3.6 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $16.99
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  • Zuccardi Serie A Torrontes 2011 Front Label
    Zuccardi Serie A Torrontes 2011
    Torrontes from Salta, Argentina
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $16.99
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  • Christian Moreau Chablis Valmur Grand Cru 2011 Front Label
    Christian Moreau Chablis Valmur Grand Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
    • RP92
    • W&S92
    • WS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.99
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  • Novellum Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
    Novellum Chardonnay 2011
    Chardonnay from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
    • RP90
    3.2 9 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $13.99
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  • Sitios de Bodega Con Class Rueda Blanco 2011 Front Label
    Sitios de Bodega Con Class Rueda Blanco 2011
    Other White Blends from Spain
    • RP87
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $12.99
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  • Jean-Paul Brun Domaine des Terres Dorees Beaujolais Blanc 2011 Front Label
    Jean-Paul Brun Domaine des Terres Dorees Beaujolais Blanc 2011
    Chardonnay from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
    • RP92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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  • Masseria Li Veli Askos Verdeca 2011 Front Label
    Masseria Li Veli Askos Verdeca 2011
    Other White Blends from Italy
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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  • Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
    Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
    Chardonnay from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP93
    • WS92
    • WE92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $43.99
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  • Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Bianco Le Vigne Niche 2011 Front Label
    Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Bianco Le Vigne Niche 2011
    Other White Blends from Sicily, Italy
    • RP93
    • JS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $32.99
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    32 99
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  • Domaine Vacheron Sancerre 2011 Front Label
    Domaine Vacheron Sancerre 2011
    Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, Loire, France
    • WS89
    • RP88
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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    34 99
    34 99
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  • Etude Carneros Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
    Etude Carneros Chardonnay 2011
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
    • W&S91
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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  • Christian Moreau Chablis Vaillon Premier Cru 2011 Front Label
    Christian Moreau Chablis Vaillon Premier Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
    • RP91
    • WS90
    • W&S90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $53.99
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  • Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Blanc 2011 Front Label
    Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Blanc 2011
    Rhone White Blends from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • RP93
    • TP92
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $44.99
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    44 99
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  • Castell d'Encus Ekam 2011 Front Label
    Castell d'Encus Ekam 2011
    Riesling from Spain
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $37.99
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    41 99
    37 99
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  • WillaKenzie Estate Pinot Gris 2011 Front Label
    WillaKenzie Estate Pinot Gris 2011
    Pinot Gris/Grigio from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP89
    • W&S88
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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  • Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2011 Front Label
    Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2011
    Rhone White Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP92
    • W&S92
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $57.99
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  • Zind-Humbrecht Clos Windsbuhl Riesling 2011 Front Label
    Zind-Humbrecht Clos Windsbuhl Riesling 2011
    Riesling from Alsace, France
    • RP93
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $68.99
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    84
    68 99
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  • Vasse Felix Heytesbury Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
    Vasse Felix Heytesbury Chardonnay 2011
    Chardonnay from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
    • RP93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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    61
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  • Chateau Maris Brama Grenache Gris 2011 Front Label
    Chateau Maris Brama Grenache Gris 2011
    Other White Wine from Minervois La Liviniere, Minervois, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Zind-Humbrecht Muscat Goldert 2011 Front Label
    Zind-Humbrecht Muscat Goldert 2011
    Muscat from Alsace, France
    • RP93
    • WS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $58.99
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    58 99
    58 99
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  • Cayuse Cailloux Vineyard Viognier 2011 Front Label
    Cayuse Cailloux Vineyard Viognier 2011
    Viognier from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE94
    • RP93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $99.99
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  • Vasse Felix Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
    Vasse Felix Chardonnay 2011
    Chardonnay from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    27
    19 99
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