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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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  • Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay 2016  Front Label
    Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • D97
    • JS92
    3.8 19 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $41.99
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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
    36 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 12 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    31
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  • Tyler Winery Santa Barbara County Chardonnay 2016 Front Label
    Tyler Winery Santa Barbara County Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $25.99
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    32
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  • Cuvaison Chardonnay 2016 Front Label
    Cuvaison Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
      0.0 0 Ratings
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      26
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    • Chamisal Vineyards Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay 2016 Front Label
      Chamisal Vineyards Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay 2016
      Chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
      • WE92
      • WS90
      4.8 5 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $29.99
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      35
      29 99
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    • True Myth Chardonnay 2016  Front Label
      True Myth Chardonnay 2016
      Chardonnay from Edna Valley, Central Coast, California
      • TP91
      • WE90
      3.7 22 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $16.99
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      18
      16 99
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    • Scribe Carneros Chardonnay 2016 Front Label
      Scribe Carneros Chardonnay 2016
      Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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        Currently Unavailable $36.99
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        36 99
        36 99
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      • Vasse Felix Chardonnay 2016 Front Label
        Vasse Felix Chardonnay 2016
        Chardonnay from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
        • JS94
        • RP90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $41.99
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        41 99
        41 99
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      • Davis Bynum River West Vineyard Chardonnay 2016  Front Label
        Davis Bynum River West Vineyard Chardonnay 2016
        Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
        • WE91
        • RP90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $23.99
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        25
        23 99
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      • Catherine & Pierre Breton Vouvray La Dilettante 2016 Front Label
        Catherine & Pierre Breton Vouvray La Dilettante 2016
        Chenin Blanc from Loire, France
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $27.99
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          27 99
          27 99
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        • Delhommeau Muscadet de Sevre et Maine Harmonie 2016  Front Label
          Delhommeau Muscadet de Sevre et Maine Harmonie 2016
          Melon de Bourgogne from Loire, France
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $15.99
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            15 99
            15 99
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          • Brooks Willamette Valley Riesling 2016 Front Label
            Brooks Willamette Valley Riesling 2016
            Riesling from Willamette Valley, Oregon
            • WE92
            • WW91
            • W&S90
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $21.99
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            21 99
            21 99
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          • Jean-Paul Droin Chablis 2016 Front Label
            Jean-Paul Droin Chablis 2016
            Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $37.99
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              37 99
              37 99
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            • Henschke Croft Chardonnay 2016 Front Label
              Henschke Croft Chardonnay 2016
              Chardonnay from Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia
              • JS93
              • RP91
              • WE91
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $59.99
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              59 99
              59 99
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            • Cooper Mountain Pinot Gris 2016 Front Label
              Cooper Mountain Pinot Gris 2016
              Pinot Gris/Grigio from Willamette Valley, Oregon
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                19 99
                19 99
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              • Domaine Cailbourdin Pouilly-Fume Les Cris 2016 Front Label
                Domaine Cailbourdin Pouilly-Fume Les Cris 2016
                Sauvignon Blanc from Pouilly-Fume, Loire, France
                • WS92
                3.9 5 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $32.99
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                32 99
                32 99
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              • Maison Roche de Bellene Meursault Vieilles Vignes 2016  Front Label
                Maison Roche de Bellene Meursault Vieilles Vignes 2016
                Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                • WE90
                • WS90
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $94.99
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                94 99
                94 99
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              • Domaine Vincent Dampt Chablis Cote de Lechet Premier Cru 2016 Front Label
                Domaine Vincent Dampt Chablis Cote de Lechet Premier Cru 2016
                Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $52.99
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                  52 99
                  52 99
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                • Raymond Reserve Selection Chardonnay 2016 Front Label
                  Raymond Reserve Selection Chardonnay 2016
                  Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
                    3.2 5 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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                    21 99
                    21 99
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                  • Signorello Hope's Cuvee Chardonnay 2016 Front Label
                    Signorello Hope's Cuvee Chardonnay 2016
                    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $99.99
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                      99 99
                      99 99
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                    • Red Tail Ridge Estate Riesling 2016 Front Label
                      Red Tail Ridge Estate Riesling 2016
                      Riesling from Finger Lakes, New York, Other U.S.
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                        17 99
                        17 99
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                      • Liquid Farm White Hill Chardonnay 2016 Front Label
                        Liquid Farm White Hill Chardonnay 2016
                        Chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $47.99
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                          47 99
                          47 99
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                        • Bodegas Raul Perez Ultreia Godello 2016  Front Label
                          Bodegas Raul Perez Ultreia Godello 2016
                          Godello from Bierzo, Spain
                          • RP92
                          • D91
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $28.99
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                          30
                          28 99
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                        • St. Francis Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Front Label
                          St. Francis Sauvignon Blanc 2016
                          Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma County, California
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                            19 99
                            19 99
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