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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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  • Domaine Leflaive Puligny Montrachet Clavoillon Premier Cru 2014  Front Label
    Domaine Leflaive Puligny Montrachet Clavoillon Premier Cru 2014
    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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      Currently Unavailable $199.97
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      199 97
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    • Brick House Cascadia Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
      Brick House Cascadia Chardonnay 2014
      Chardonnay from Ribbon Ridge, Willamette Valley, Oregon
      • RP92
      • JS91
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $41.99
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      41 99
      41 99
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    • Grossot Chablis Vaucoupin Premier Cru 2014 Front Label
      Grossot Chablis Vaucoupin Premier Cru 2014
      Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
      • WS90
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $41.99
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      41 99
      41 99
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    • Whitecliff Winemaker's Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Front Label
      Whitecliff Winemaker's Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2014
      Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
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        Currently Unavailable $24.99
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        24 99
        24 99
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      • Do Ferreiro Albarino 2014 Front Label
        Do Ferreiro Albarino 2014
        Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain
        • RP91
        • WW90
        • JS90
        • W&S90
        3.8 5 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $29.99
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        35
        29 99
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      • Sixto Frenchman Hills Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
        Sixto Frenchman Hills Chardonnay 2014
        Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
        • RP93
        • WE93
        • WS90
        3.8 9 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $46.99
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        55
        46 99
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      • Andre Bonhomme Vire-Clesse Vieilles Vignes 2014 Front Label
        Andre Bonhomme Vire-Clesse Vieilles Vignes 2014
        Chardonnay from Maconnais, Burgundy, France
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $25.99
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          30
          25 99
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        • Vino Lauria Fontane Bianche 2014 Front Label
          Vino Lauria Fontane Bianche 2014
          Other White Blends from Sicily, Italy
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $14.99
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            20
            14 99
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          • Talley Arroyo Grande Valley Estate Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
            Talley Arroyo Grande Valley Estate Chardonnay 2014
            Chardonnay from Arroyo Grande Valley, Central Coast, California
            • WE92
            • RP90
            3.8 9 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $26.99
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            26 99
            26 99
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          • Albert Bichot Montagny Premier Cru 2014 Front Label
            Albert Bichot Montagny Premier Cru 2014
            Chardonnay from Montagny, Cote Chalonnaise, Burgundy, France
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              Currently Unavailable $34.99
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              34 99
              34 99
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            • Grosset Polish Hill Riesling 2014 Front Label
              Grosset Polish Hill Riesling 2014
              Riesling from Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia
              • WW94
              • RP93
              • W&S93
              • WS91
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $51.99
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              51 99
              51 99
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            • d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne 2014 Front Label
              d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne 2014
              Rhone White Blends from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
              • RP90
              • WW90
              3.8 10 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $15.99
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              17
              15 99
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            • Alexander Valley Vineyards Gewurztraminer 2014 Front Bottle Shot
              Alexander Valley Vineyards Gewurztraminer 2014
              Gewurztraminer from Mendocino, California
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                13 99
                13 99
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              • Vasse Felix Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
                Vasse Felix Chardonnay 2014
                Chardonnay from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
                • JS96
                • W&S93
                • WS92
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $37.99
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                37 99
                37 99
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              • Yalumba Y Series Riesling 2014 Front Label
                Yalumba Y Series Riesling 2014
                Riesling from Barossa, South Australia, Australia
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                  Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                  13 99
                  13 99
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                • Yalumba Y Series Unwooded Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
                  Yalumba Y Series Unwooded Chardonnay 2014
                  Chardonnay from South Australia, Australia
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                    Currently Unavailable $9.99
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                    12
                    9 99
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                  • Hermann J. Wiemer Josef Vineyard Riesling 2014 Front Label
                    Hermann J. Wiemer Josef Vineyard Riesling 2014
                    Riesling from New York, Other U.S.
                    • JS93
                    • W&S92
                    • WS90
                    • WE90
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $54.99
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                    54 99
                    54 99
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                  • Lawson's Dry Hills Gewurztraminer 2014 Front Label
                    Lawson's Dry Hills Gewurztraminer 2014
                    Gewurztraminer from Marlborough, New Zealand
                    • WE89
                    4.2 6 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                    19
                    15 99
                    Save $3.01 (16%)
                  • Gerard Bertrand Cigalus Blanc 2014  Front Label
                    Gerard Bertrand Cigalus Blanc 2014
                    Rhone White Blends from Languedoc, South of France, France
                    • RP91
                    • WE90
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $47.99
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                    65
                    47 99
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                  • Carrick Pinot Gris 2014 Front Label
                    Carrick Pinot Gris 2014
                    Pinot Gris/Grigio from Central Otago, New Zealand
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                      Currently Unavailable $24.99
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                      24 99
                      24 99
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                    • Stonestreet Upper Barn Vineyard Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
                      Stonestreet Upper Barn Vineyard Chardonnay 2014
                      Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
                      • RP96
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $104.99
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                      104 99
                      104 99
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                    • Cambria Benchbreak Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
                      Cambria Benchbreak Chardonnay 2014
                      Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
                      • TP90
                      3.9 19 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $16.99
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                      22
                      16 99
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                    • Rutherford Ranch Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Front Label
                      Rutherford Ranch Sauvignon Blanc 2014
                      Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California
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                        Currently Unavailable $16.99
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                        20
                        16 99
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                      • Tinga Rio Reserve Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
                        Tinga Rio Reserve Chardonnay 2014
                        Chardonnay from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $9.69
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                          13 99
                          9 69
                          Save $4.30 (31%)
                        • Georges Vernay Condrieu Les Chaillees de L'Enfer 2014 Front Label
                          Georges Vernay Condrieu Les Chaillees de L'Enfer 2014
                          Viognier from Condrieu, Rhone, France
                          • JS92
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $139.99
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                          139 99
                          139 99
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