“Green” Wine: A Quick Reference

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Organic, sustainable, biodynamic - there are a lot of terms related to making eco-friendly wine these days! In honor of Earth Day, we’re breaking these words down so you know exactly what each one means, and sharing some of the bottles we carry that fit each category.

Being certified organic means that a vineyard has had its grapes pronounced organic by an independent third party and that it follows a very strict set of standards. Being certified usually involves a lot of paperwork and can take a long of time. Many vineyards take years to make the transition to being fully organic. When the grapes are grown using certified organic practices and the wine is made without any added sulfites, then the product is an organic wine, versus just being made from organic grapes. See our collection of certified organic wines.

Much of the time, vineyards and producers follow organic practices, but have not been certified (usually because of that paperwork we mentioned). In this case, the grapes or wine are practicing organic, organically grown or organic. While not certified by a third party, these producers generally still follow organic practices, like not using pesticides or additives and striving to promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity. See our collection of wines grown or made using organic practices.

Biodynamic wines take things one step further in that they abide by organic guidelines, but also view their farming ecosystem as whole, usually taking lunar cycles, energy sources and astrology into account. Just like organic wine, biodynamic wine is made with biodynamic grapes and without any added yeasts or sulfites, whereas “wine made from biodynamic grapes,” may still have these additions. See our collection of biodynamic wines and wines made from biodynamic grapes.

Sustainability allows farmers to choose the farming practice that makes the most sense for them, their land and their crops. Much of the time they follow organic or biodynamic practices, but they have the flexibility to choose which of those practices they wish to adhere to. Sustainable wines are also usually grown and made by practices that are economically viable and socially responsible, such as using renewable resources and conserving water. See our collection of sustainable wines.