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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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  • Luna Vineyards Pinot Grigio 2008 Front Label
    Luna Vineyards Pinot Grigio 2008
    Pinot Gris/Grigio from California
      3.0 15 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $9.99
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      18
      9 99
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    • Pacific Rim Wallula Vineyard Biodynamic Riesling 2008 Front Label
      Pacific Rim Wallula Vineyard Biodynamic Riesling 2008
      Riesling from Columbia Valley, Washington
      • WE91
      • WS91
      3.0 6 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $13.99
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      20
      13 99
      Save $6.01 (30%)
    • Frog's Leap Napa Valley Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
      Frog's Leap Napa Valley Chardonnay 2008
      Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $25.99
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        25 99
        25 99
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      • Veramonte Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
        Veramonte Chardonnay 2008
        Chardonnay from Chile
        • WS88
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $8.97
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        12 99
        8 97
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      • Prelius Maremma Vermentino 2008 Front Label
        Prelius Maremma Vermentino 2008
        Vermentino from Tuscany, Italy
        • W&S90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $14.99
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        17
        14 99
        Save $2.01 (12%)
      • Spring Seed Wine Co. Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
        Spring Seed Wine Co. Chardonnay 2008
        Chardonnay from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $18.99
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          18 99
          18 99
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        • Kofererhof Riesling 2008 Front Label
          Kofererhof Riesling 2008
          Riesling from Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
          • RP91
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $25.99
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          35
          25 99
          Save $9.01 (26%)
        • Sterling Organic Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
          Sterling Organic Chardonnay 2008
          Chardonnay from Mendocino, California
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $17.99
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            17 99
            17 99
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          • Cline North Coast Viognier 2008 Front Label
            Cline North Coast Viognier 2008
            Viognier from California
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $11.79
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              11 79
              11 79
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            • Chehalem Reserve Pinot Gris 2008 Front Label
              Chehalem Reserve Pinot Gris 2008
              Pinot Gris/Grigio from Willamette Valley, Oregon
              • WE90
              • WS90
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $16.99
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              20
              16 99
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            • Tangent Edna Valley Albarino 2008 Front Label
              Tangent Edna Valley Albarino 2008
              Albarino from Central Coast, California
              • WE91
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $18.29
              Try the 2016 Vintage 18 99
              18 28
              18 28
              Save $0.00 (0%)
            • Teruzzi & Puthod Rondolino Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2008 Front Label
              Teruzzi & Puthod Rondolino Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2008
              Vernaccia from Tuscany, Italy
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $11.79
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                11 79
                11 79
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              • Lemelson Dry Riesling 2008 Front Label
                Lemelson Dry Riesling 2008
                Riesling from Willamette Valley, Oregon
                • WS90
                • RP90
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $21.99
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                21 99
                21 99
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              • Grgich Hills Estate Fume Blanc 2008 Front Label
                Grgich Hills Estate Fume Blanc 2008
                Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $33.97
                  Try the 2016 Vintage 29 99
                  41 99
                  33 97
                  Save $8.02 (19%)
                • Tangent Eccelstone 2008 Front Label
                  Tangent Eccelstone 2008
                  Other White Blends from Central Coast, California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $11.49
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                    17
                    11 49
                    Save $5.51 (32%)
                  • WillaKenzie Estate Pinot Gris 2008 Front Label
                    WillaKenzie Estate Pinot Gris 2008
                    Pinot Gris/Grigio from Willamette Valley, Oregon
                    • W&S91
                    • WS90
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $21.99
                    Try the 2017 Vintage 20 99
                    21 99
                    21 99
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                  • Sterling Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2008 Front Label
                    Sterling Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2008
                    Sauvignon Blanc from North Coast, California
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $13.79
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                      16 79
                      13 79
                      Save $3.00 (18%)
                    • Beckmen Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2008 Front Label
                      Beckmen Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2008
                      Sauvignon Blanc from Central Coast, California
                      • WS91
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $15.49
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                      15 49
                      15 49
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                    • Bonterra Organically Grown Viognier 2008 Front Label
                      Bonterra Organically Grown Viognier 2008
                      Viognier from North Coast, California
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $18.29
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                        18 28
                        18 28
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                      • J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines Arroyo Vista Vineyard Series Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
                        J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Vineyard Series Chardonnay 2008
                        Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
                        • WE90
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                        19 99
                        19 99
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                      • Christian Moreau Chablis 2008 Front Label
                        Christian Moreau Chablis 2008
                        Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
                        • WS90
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $26.99
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                        26 99
                        26 99
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                      • Paul Dolan Vineyards Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
                        Paul Dolan Vineyards Chardonnay 2008
                        Chardonnay from North Coast, California
                        • WE90
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $18.29
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                        18 28
                        18 28
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                      • Yalumba Organic Viognier 2008 Front Label
                        Yalumba Organic Viognier 2008
                        Viognier from South Australia, Australia
                        • WS90
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                        15 99
                        15 99
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                      • Cuvaison Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2008 Front Label
                        Cuvaison Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2008
                        Chardonnay from Carneros, California
                        • WS87
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $16.49
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                        16 49
                        16 49
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                      • Boutari Santorini 2008 Front Label
                        Boutari Santorini 2008
                        Other White Blends from Greece
                        • W&S92
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $15.99
                        Try the 2018 Vintage 29 99
                        22 99
                        15 99
                        Save $7.00 (30%)
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