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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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  • Honig Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Front Label
    Honig Sauvignon Blanc 2018
    Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California
    • JS92
    • WS91
    • WW90
    4.3 84 Ratings
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  • Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Livermore Valley, Central Coast, California
    • WE91
    4.2 17 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    14 99
    14 99
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  • Joseph Drouhin Macon Villages 2018  Front Label
    Joseph Drouhin Macon Villages 2018
    Chardonnay from Macon Villages, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
    • W&S89
    4.4 24 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    16
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  • Pascal Jolivet Sancerre 2018 Front Label
    Pascal Jolivet Sancerre 2018
    Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, Loire, France
      4.5 30 Ratings
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      28 99
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    • Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Gris 2018  Front Label
      Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Gris 2018
      Pinot Gris/Grigio from Willamette Valley, Oregon
      • WE90
      • WW90
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $18.99
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      18 99
      18 99
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    • Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2018  Front Label
      Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2018
      Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
        4.0 32 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $12.99
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        14
        12 99
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      • Elk Cove Pinot Gris 2018  Front Label
        Elk Cove Pinot Gris 2018
        Pinot Gris/Grigio from Willamette Valley, Oregon
        • WE91
        • WW90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $19.99
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        19 99
        19 99
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      • Frog's Leap Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2018  Front Label
        Frog's Leap Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2018
        Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California
        • WW92
        4.2 11 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $24.99
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        27
        24 99
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      • Joseph Drouhin Laforet Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
        Joseph Drouhin Laforet Chardonnay 2018
        Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $16.99
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          16 99
          16 99
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        • Gerard Bertrand Perles de Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Front Label
          Gerard Bertrand Perles de Sauvignon Blanc 2018
          Sauvignon Blanc from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
            4.7 9 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $15.99
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            17
            15 99
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          • MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
            MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2018
            Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
            • JS92
            • WW90
            4.2 19 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $19.99
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            25
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          • Lapostolle Casa Grand Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2018  Front Label
            Lapostolle Casa Grand Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2018
            Sauvignon Blanc from Rapel Valley, Chile
            • JS92
            3.9 17 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $13.99
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            13 99
            13 99
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          • Donnhoff Estate Riesling 2018  Front Label
            Donnhoff Estate Riesling 2018
            Riesling from Nahe, Germany
            • WW90
            3.8 9 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $24.99
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            24 99
            24 99
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          • St. Supery Moscato 2018  Front Label
            St. Supery Moscato 2018
            Muscat from Napa Valley, California
              4.3 15 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $23.99
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              25
              23 99
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            • Parducci Small Lot Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
              Parducci Small Lot Chardonnay 2018
              Chardonnay from Mendocino, California
                4.2 6 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                15 99
                15 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
                4.1 7 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $21.99
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                28
                21 99
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              • St. Supery Estate Oak Free Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
                St. Supery Estate Oak Free Chardonnay 2018
                Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
                  4.6 5 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $21.99
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                  25
                  21 99
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                • Te Mata Estate Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Front Label
                  Te Mata Estate Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2018
                  Sauvignon Blanc from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
                  • WE91
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                  19 99
                  19 99
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                • Grosset Alea Riesling 2018 Front Label
                  Grosset Alea Riesling 2018
                  Riesling from Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia
                  • WE92
                  • WS90
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $36.99
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                  36 99
                  36 99
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                • Rafael Palacios Louro Do Bolo Godello 2018  Front Label
                  Rafael Palacios Louro Do Bolo Godello 2018
                  Godello from Spain
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $23.99
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                    23 99
                    23 99
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                  • Brocard Sainte Claire Chablis 2018  Front Label
                    Brocard Sainte Claire Chablis 2018
                    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
                    • V91
                    • JS90
                    4.0 11 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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                    24 99
                    24 99
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                  • Patrick Piuze Chablis Grand Cru Bougros 2018  Front Label
                    Patrick Piuze Chablis Grand Cru Bougros 2018
                    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
                    • JS93
                    • RP93
                    • W&S90
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $89.99
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                    89 99
                    89 99
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                  • Ziata Sauvignon Blanc 2018  Front Label
                    Ziata Sauvignon Blanc 2018
                    Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $36.99
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                      36 99
                      36 99
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                    • Bodegas Volver Paso A Paso Blanco 2018  Front Label
                      Bodegas Volver Paso A Paso Blanco 2018
                      Other White Blends from La Mancha, Spain
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $12.99
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                        12 99
                        12 99
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                      • Chamisal Vineyards Stainless Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
                        Chamisal Vineyards Stainless Chardonnay 2018
                        Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
                        • RP91
                        5.0 5 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                        18
                        14 99
                        Save $3.01 (17%)
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