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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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  • Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • V92
    4.0 32 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $55.99
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  • Do Ferreiro Albarino 2018  Front Label
    Do Ferreiro Albarino 2018
    Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain
    • RP94
    • V92
    3.6 46 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    29 99
    29 99
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  • Moniker La Ribera Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Moniker La Ribera Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Mendocino, California
    • WE91
    • WW90
    4.0 116 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $20.99
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    23
    20 99
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  • Bila-Haut by Michel Chapoutier Cotes du Roussillon Blanc 2018  Front Label
    Bila-Haut by Michel Chapoutier Cotes du Roussillon Blanc 2018
    Other White Blends from Côtes du Roussillon, Roussillon, South of France, France
      4.5 25 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $16.99
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      16 99
      16 99
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    • Domaine Leflaive Meursault Sous le Dos d'Ane Premier Cru 2018  Front Label
      Domaine Leflaive Meursault Sous le Dos d'Ane Premier Cru 2018
      Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
      • BH92
      • RP91
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $299.99
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      299 99
      299 99
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    • Seresin Sauvignon Blanc 2018  Front Label
      Seresin Sauvignon Blanc 2018
      Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
      • RP91
      3.7 18 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $23.99
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      23 99
      23 99
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    • Jordan Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
      Jordan Chardonnay 2018
      Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
      • WW92
      • WE92
      4.3 24 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $41.99
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      41 99
      41 99
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    • Honig Rutherford Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2018  Front Label
      Honig Rutherford Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2018
      Sauvignon Blanc from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
      • JS91
      • RP90
      4.0 15 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $27.99
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      35
      27 99
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    • Albert Bichot Puligny Montrachet 2018  Front Label
      Albert Bichot Puligny Montrachet 2018
      Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
      • WE92
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $94.99
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      110
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    • Borgo Conventi Pinot Grigio 2018  Front Label
      Borgo Conventi Pinot Grigio 2018
      Pinot Gris/Grigio from Colli Orientali del Friuli, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
      • WE90
      4.3 38 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $23.99
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      23 99
      23 99
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    • Tablas Creek Cotes de Tablas Blanc 2018  Front Label
      Tablas Creek Cotes de Tablas Blanc 2018
      Rhone White Blends from Adelaida District, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
      • WE93
      • RP92
      • WS91
      4.1 47 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $29.99
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      35
      29 99
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    • Domaine de Bellene Savigny-les-Beaune Blanc 2018  Front Label
      Domaine de Bellene Savigny-les-Beaune Blanc 2018
      Chardonnay from Savigny-les-Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
      • D92
      • W&S91
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $49.99
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      49 99
      49 99
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    • GEN5 Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
      GEN5 Chardonnay 2018
      Chardonnay from Lodi, California
      • WE88
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $11.99
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      11 99
      11 99
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    • Nigl Freiheit Gruner Veltliner 2018  Front Label
      Nigl Freiheit Gruner Veltliner 2018
      Gruner Veltliner from Kremstal, Austria
        4.0 14 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $23.99
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        23 99
        23 99
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      • Kenwood Six Ridges Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
        Kenwood Six Ridges Chardonnay 2018
        Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
        • WW89
        4.5 20 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $21.99
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        26
        21 99
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      • Hahn SLH Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
        Hahn SLH Chardonnay 2018
        Chardonnay from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
        • V90
        4.1 52 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $19.99
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        25
        19 99
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      • Merryvale Carneros Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
        Merryvale Carneros Chardonnay 2018
        Chardonnay from Carneros, California
        • JD92
        • WW91
        • JS91
        • RP90
        4.4 8 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $38.99
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        38 99
        38 99
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      • Hall Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2018  Front Label
        Hall Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2018
        Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California
        • WW92
        • WE92
        4.1 120 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $25.99
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        28
        25 99
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      • Talley Rosemary's Vineyard Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
        Talley Rosemary's Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
        Chardonnay from Arroyo Grande Valley, Central Coast, California
        • V95
        • RP94
        • WW94
        • WE92
        • CG90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $54.99
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        60
        54 99
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      • Gerard Bertrand Cigalus Blanc 2018  Front Label
        Gerard Bertrand Cigalus Blanc 2018
        Rhone White Blends from Languedoc, South of France, France
        • RP93
        • WW92
        • WS90
        4.8 14 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $48.99
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        48 99
        48 99
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      • Errazuriz Max Reserva Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
        Errazuriz Max Reserva Chardonnay 2018
        Chardonnay from Aconcagua Valley, Chile
        • TA92
        3.2 48 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $15.99
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        20
        15 99
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      • Domaine Vincent Careme Vouvray Le Clos 2018  Front Label
        Domaine Vincent Careme Vouvray Le Clos 2018
        Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
        • WS93
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $42.99
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        42 99
        42 99
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      • Robert Oatley Signature Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
        Robert Oatley Signature Chardonnay 2018
        Chardonnay from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
        • WE92
        3.3 19 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $18.99
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        18 99
        18 99
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      • Joseph Drouhin Laforet Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
        Joseph Drouhin Laforet Chardonnay 2018
        Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
        • WW89
        4.3 32 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $17.99
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        17 99
        17 99
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      • Duck Hunter Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Front Label
        Duck Hunter Sauvignon Blanc 2018
        Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
        • WS92
        • TP91
        4.1 29 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $19.99
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        19 99
        19 99
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