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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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  • Johan Vineyards Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
    Johan Vineyards Chardonnay 2011
    Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    • Tangent Paragon Vineyard Pinot Gris 2011 Front Label
      Tangent Paragon Vineyard Pinot Gris 2011
      Pinot Gris/Grigio from Central Coast, California
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    • Forrest Estate Botrytis Riesling (375ML half-bottle) 2011 Front Label
      Forrest Estate Botrytis Riesling (375ML half-bottle) 2011
      Riesling from Marlborough, New Zealand
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      • WillaKenzie Estate Pinot Gris (375ML half-bottle) 2011 Front Label
        WillaKenzie Estate Pinot Gris (375ML half-bottle) 2011
        Pinot Gris/Grigio from Willamette Valley, Oregon
        • RP89
        • W&S88
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        Currently Unavailable $9.99
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      • Carrick Riesling 2011 Front Label
        Carrick Riesling 2011
        Riesling from Marlborough, New Zealand
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        • Gramona Gessami Blanco Penedes 2011 Front Label
          Gramona Gessami Blanco Penedes 2011
          Other White Blends from Spain
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            Currently Unavailable $14.99
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            22
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          • Dr. Loosen Dr. L Riesling 2011 Front Label
            Dr. Loosen Dr. L Riesling 2011
            Riesling from Mosel, Germany
              3.9 10 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $12.99
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            • Bethel Heights Pinot Gris 2011 Front Label
              Bethel Heights Pinot Gris 2011
              Pinot Gris/Grigio from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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              • Domaine de la Vougeraie Vougeot Clos du Prieure Blanc 2011 Front Label
                Domaine de la Vougeraie Vougeot Clos du Prieure Blanc 2011
                Chardonnay from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                • W&S92
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                Currently Unavailable $94.99
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              • Ritual Casablanca Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Front Label
                Ritual Casablanca Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2011
                Sauvignon Blanc from Chile
                • WE90
                • W&S90
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                20
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              • Sitios de Bodega Con Class Verdejo 2011 Front Label
                Sitios de Bodega Con Class Verdejo 2011
                Verdejo from Rueda, Spain
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                  13 95
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                • Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2011 Front Label
                  Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2011
                  Viognier from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
                  • WS89
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                  Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                • Joseph Drouhin Laforet Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                  Joseph Drouhin Laforet Chardonnay 2011
                  Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
                  • BH87
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                  Currently Unavailable $27.99
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                  34 99
                  27 99
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                • Montinore Estate Pinot Gris 2011 Front Label
                  Montinore Estate Pinot Gris 2011
                  Pinot Gris/Grigio from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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                    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                    14 99
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                  • Domaine de la Vougeraie Cote de Beaune Les Pierres Blanches Blanc 2011 Front Label
                    Domaine de la Vougeraie Cote de Beaune Les Pierres Blanches Blanc 2011
                    Chardonnay from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                    • W&S90
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                    Currently Unavailable $43.99
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                    55
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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
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                    Currently Unavailable $44.99
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                    44 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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                    16 99
                    16 99
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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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                    10 99
                    10 99
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                  • Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Front Label
                    Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc 2011
                    Sauvignon Blanc from Chile
                    • W&S90
                    3.4 25 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $11.99
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                    11 99
                    11 99
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                  • Pacific Rim Organic Riesling 2011 Front Label
                    Pacific Rim Organic Riesling 2011
                    Riesling from Columbia Valley, Washington
                      3.4 9 Ratings
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                      14
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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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                      119 99
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                    • Grossot Mont de Milieu Chablis 2011 Front Label
                      Grossot Mont de Milieu Chablis 2011
                      Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
                      • WS92
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                      Currently Unavailable $43.99
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                      43 99
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                    • Yalumba Y Series Unwooded Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                      Yalumba Y Series Unwooded Chardonnay 2011
                      Chardonnay from South Australia, Australia
                      • WS88
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                      Currently Unavailable $12.99
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                      12 99
                      12 99
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                    • Benton Lane Pinot Gris 2011 Front Label
                      Benton Lane Pinot Gris 2011
                      Pinot Gris/Grigio from Willamette Valley, Oregon
                      • W&S88
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                      19 99
                      19 99
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                    • Lucinda & Millie Organic Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                      Lucinda & Millie Organic Chardonnay 2011
                      Chardonnay from North Coast, California
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                        Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                        13 99
                        13 99
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