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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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  • Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Jadis 2017  Front Label
    Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Jadis 2017
    Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, Loire, France
    • WE93
    • WS92
    • RP92
    4.7 21 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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  • Henri Bourgeois La Bourgeoise Blanc 2017  Front Label
    Henri Bourgeois La Bourgeoise Blanc 2017
    Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, Loire, France
    • RP92
    • WS92
    • WE91
    4.8 20 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $45.99
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  • Yalumba Samuel's Collection Eden Valley Viognier 2017 Front Label
    Yalumba Samuel's Collection Eden Valley Viognier 2017
    Viognier from Eden Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • D95
    • JS92
    • RP91
    • W&S91
    • WE90
    3.8 236 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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  • Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
    Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • JS93
    4.7 8 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $79.99
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  • Lincourt Rancho Santa Rosa Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
    Lincourt Rancho Santa Rosa Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • WE91
    3.4 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $23.99
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    35
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  • Robert Sinskey Abraxas 2017  Front Label
    Robert Sinskey Abraxas 2017
    Other White Blends from Carneros, California
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $41.99
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    • Chamisal Vineyards Monterey Chardonnay 2017 Front Label
      Chamisal Vineyards Monterey Chardonnay 2017
      Chardonnay from Monterey, Central Coast, California
      • WW91
      • RP91
      • WE90
      4.0 55 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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      24
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    • Domaines Schlumberger Grand Cru Saering Riesling 2017  Front Label
      Domaines Schlumberger Grand Cru Saering Riesling 2017
      Riesling from Alsace, France
      • TP92
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $35.99
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    • Starmont Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
      Starmont Chardonnay 2017
      Chardonnay from Carneros, California
      • JS90
      • WW90
      4.0 22 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $20.99
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      22
      20 99
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    • Loimer Langenlois Kamptal Riesling 2017  Front Label
      Loimer Langenlois Kamptal Riesling 2017
      Riesling from Austria
      • RP89
      • WE89
      • JS89
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $27.99
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      27 99
      27 99
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    • Tasca d'Almerita Leone d'Almerita 2017  Front Label
      Tasca d'Almerita Leone d'Almerita 2017
      Other White Blends from Sicily, Italy
        3.6 6 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $29.99
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      • Von Winning Pfalz Sauvignon Blanc II 2017  Front Label
        Von Winning Pfalz Sauvignon Blanc II 2017
        Sauvignon Blanc from Pfalz, Germany
          4.1 5 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $21.99
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          21 99
          21 99
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        • Davis Bynum River West Vineyard Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
          Davis Bynum River West Vineyard Chardonnay 2017
          Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
          • WW92
          • WE90
          3.7 17 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $28.99
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          28 99
          28 99
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        • WillaKenzie Estate Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
          WillaKenzie Estate Chardonnay 2017
          Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
          • JS93
          • WW91
          • RP91
          • WE90
          • V90
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $37.99
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          40
          37 99
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        • Cono Sur Organic Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
          Cono Sur Organic Chardonnay 2017
          Chardonnay from Chile
            3.8 14 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $14.99
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            14 99
            14 99
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          • Tangent Edna Valley Albarino 2017 Front Label
            Tangent Edna Valley Albarino 2017
            Albarino from Edna Valley, Central Coast, California
            • WW92
            3.8 53 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $17.99
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            17 99
            17 99
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          • Vasse Felix Chardonnay 2017 Front Label
            Vasse Felix Chardonnay 2017
            Chardonnay from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
            • D94
            • JS93
            • WE92
            • W&S92
            • WS91
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $35.99
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            45
            35 99
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          • Howard Park Miamup Chardonnay 2017 Front Label
            Howard Park Miamup Chardonnay 2017
            Chardonnay from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
            • WE92
            3.6 8 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $25.99
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            25 99
            25 99
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          • Starmont Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2017  Front Label
            Starmont Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2017
            Chardonnay from Carneros, California
            • JS90
            • WW90
            3.3 7 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $12.99
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            12 99
            12 99
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          • Bonterra The Roost Biodynamic Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
            Bonterra The Roost Biodynamic Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2017
            Chardonnay from Mendocino, California
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $34.99
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              40
              34 99
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            • Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard Summum Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
              Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard Summum Chardonnay 2017
              Chardonnay from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
              • V95
              • WS93
              • RP92
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $99.99
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              99 99
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            • Brick & Mortar Cougar Rock Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
              Brick & Mortar Cougar Rock Chardonnay 2017
              Chardonnay from Atlas Peak, Napa Valley, California
              • JS92
              • WW91
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $43.99
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              43 99
              43 99
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            • Eric Chevalier La Noe Muscadet Cotes de Grand Lieu Sur Lie 2017  Front Label
              Eric Chevalier La Noe Muscadet Cotes de Grand Lieu Sur Lie 2017
              Melon de Bourgogne from Pays Nantais, Loire, France
                3.4 12 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $18.99
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                18 99
                18 99
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              • Adelsheim Staking Claim Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
                Adelsheim Staking Claim Chardonnay 2017
                Chardonnay from Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley, Oregon
                • WE92
                • JS91
                • V91
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $36.99
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                36 99
                36 99
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              • Roserock by Drouhin Oregon Eola-Amity Hills Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
                Roserock by Drouhin Oregon Eola-Amity Hills Chardonnay 2017
                Chardonnay from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
                • D93
                • JS93
                • WE92
                • RP91
                • WS90
                4.1 29 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $34.99
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                34 99
                34 99
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