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California wineries are a bit drunk over .wine top level domains

Two groups representing the same wineries take opposite views on .wine and .vin top level domains.

When you’re around a cellar full of wine, it’s understandable that your judgment might get a bit cloudy.

Does that explain the apparent contradiction between two different California wine groups and their view of geographic second level domains in the .wine and .vin top level domain names?

Here’s the contradiction.

In June, the Wine Institute sent a letter to ICANN regarding GAC advice on .wine and .vin stating

…we strongly object to any policy that would lend official support to the idea that specific countries or regions should have special authority over how the word “wine” is used in the Internet’s addressing system…

…We respectfully urge you to reject any aspect of GAC advice designating .wine or .win as “geographic” names.

Now the Napa Valley Vitners trade association has sent a letter to ICANN backing the GAC’s concern about geographic domain names. Napa Valley Vitners says it’s worried someone will be able to register napa.wine or sonoma.wine and that this will adversely affect its 500 winery members.

The Wine Institute primarily represents California wineries. I pulled up the Napa Valley Vitners membership list and randomly selected a half dozen off the list. Three of them – Martin Estate, Alpha Omega, and Frog’s Leap – are also members of Wine Institute.

So here we have two wine trade associations with a lot of common members. One sides with the GAC over geographic names on these two domains and one doesn’t.

I think someone has drunk a bit too much Silver Oak Cabernet.

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Reader Interactions


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  1. James

    It sounds like we’re in for a “spirited” debate. Let’s hope we don’t hear too much whining from either group.

  2. Kellie

    I spent the better part of last year working in the wine industry and I have met lots of winemakers, marketers and the like and not a single one of them had heard of .wine or .vin. I’d be interested to see if that has changed much. I don’t think either of these groups has had any substantive communication with their membership about the issue.

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