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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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  • Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2019  Front Label
    Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2019
    Chardonnay from California
    • WE92
    • WW91
    4.0 189 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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  • Henri Bourgeois Sancerre La Cote des Monts Damnes 2019  Front Label
    Henri Bourgeois Sancerre La Cote des Monts Damnes 2019
    Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, Loire, France
    • RP94
    • WE93
    4.3 53 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $45.99
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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 27 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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  • Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc 2020  Front Label
    Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc 2020
    Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
    • WE90
    4.3 247 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $16.99
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    18
    16 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
    3.8 282 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    21
    19 99
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  • Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay 2019  Front Label
    Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay 2019
    Chardonnay from Livermore Valley, Central Coast, California
    • D90
    • JS90
    • WE89
    4.0 147 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    18
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  • Clos Henri Petit Clos Sauvignon Blanc 2019  Front Label
    Clos Henri Petit Clos Sauvignon Blanc 2019
    Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
    • WE94
    • JS92
    • WW90
    • RP90
    4.2 157 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    21 99
    21 99
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  • Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay 2019  Front Label
    Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay 2019
    Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
    • WE93
    • WS91
    • WW90
    4.1 23 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    22
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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
    4.6 28 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $45.99
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  • Jordan Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Jordan Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WW92
    • WE92
    4.1 43 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $38.99
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    38 99
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  • Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2019  Front Label
    Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2019
    Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
    • JS93
    • RP92
    • V92
    • WE90
    3.8 113 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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    25
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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
    • JD92
    • WE90
    3.8 26 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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    24 99
    24 99
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  • Astrolabe Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2020  Front Label
    Astrolabe Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2020
    Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
    • WS91
    • RP90
    • WE90
    • WW90
    • JS90
    3.9 22 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $20.99
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    22
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  • Elk Cove Pinot Gris 2020  Front Label
    Elk Cove Pinot Gris 2020
    Pinot Gris/Grigio from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WE92
    4.4 18 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    21 99
    21 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 10 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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    35
    22 99
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  • J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay 2019  Front Label
    J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay 2019
    Chardonnay from Arroyo Seco, Monterey, Central Coast, California
    • WE90
    4.2 89 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $11.99
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    14
    11 99
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  • Domaine Vincent Dampt Chablis Vaillons Premier Cru 2019  Front Label
    Domaine Vincent Dampt Chablis Vaillons Premier Cru 2019
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
    • WE94
    4.4 7 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $41.99
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    41 99
    41 99
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  • Te Mata Estate Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2020  Front Label
    Te Mata Estate Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2020
    Sauvignon Blanc from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
    • WE91
    4.7 7 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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    22 99
    22 99
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  • Pieropan Soave Classico 2019  Front Label
    Pieropan Soave Classico 2019
    Garganega from Soave, Veneto, Italy
    • WE94
    • JS92
    • V90
    3.9 61 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $20.99
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    24
    20 99
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  • Donnafugata Anthilia 2019  Front Label
    Donnafugata Anthilia 2019
    Other White Blends from Sicily, Italy
    • JS91
    • V91
    • WE90
    4.2 31 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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    18 99
    18 99
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  • Willamette Valley Vineyards Riesling 2019  Front Label
    Willamette Valley Vineyards Riesling 2019
    Riesling from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WE91
    • WW90
    4.1 40 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    14 99
    14 99
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  • Brocard Chablis Vaulorent Premier Cru 2019  Front Label
    Brocard Chablis Vaulorent Premier Cru 2019
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
    • V94
    • WE94
    4.1 9 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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    59 99
    59 99
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  • Chamisal Vineyards Stainless Chardonnay 2019  Front Label
    Chamisal Vineyards Stainless Chardonnay 2019
    Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
    • WE90
    3.5 56 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    18
    14 99
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  • Pewsey Vale Museum Reserve The Contours Riesling 2013  Front Label
    Pewsey Vale Museum Reserve The Contours Riesling 2013
    Riesling from Eden Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • D97
    • WE94
    • WS90
    3.5 24 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    39 99
    39 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
    • JD95
    • RP94
    • WW94
    • WE92
    • CG90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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    59 99
    59 99
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