The .WINE gTLD has been given the go ahead from ICANN after many months of debate. Although we are still waiting for the official registry operator to be announced, the news is being met with both positive and negative sentiment from the online community.

On the one hand, many wine producers, wholesalers, businesses and connoisseurs are excited by this new development. A .wine extension will allow for wine aficionado’s to carve out a defined namespace on the internet to build and grow online communities and followers with similar interests and passions. Indeed for both established brands and scaling SME’s in the wine industry, the .wine (and indeed .vin) gTLD will help in promoting their products, services and online communities in the digital landscape.

Many wine based brands endorse this new domain extension anticipating that it will further cement trust between online consumers and distributers/wholesalers and further increase competition between online businesses. For online consumers and wine connoisseurs, the TLD will allow quick access to wine related info, experienced bloggers and trusted distributers.

On the other hand, the decision to release the gTLD didn’t come without some form of protest. Ministerial representatives from both the French, Australian and US governments were overtly against the release of the domain extension. They feared that releasing this particular gTLD for public registration may put trade agreements regarding the sale of region specific products at risk. GI (geographic indication) products describe specific products from specific areas of the world. For instance, ‘champagne’ is only officially made in Champagne, France. Many established successful brands with official GI status feared that the new gTLD’s may cause consumer confusion. This, they anticipate, will affect their online sales, consumer relationships and ultimately their bottom line.

Regardless of the apprehension voiced by Australia, France and the US, ICANN have endorsed the release of .WINE and .VIN. Time will only tell whether it was a good move or not!

dotNice – experts in digital brand protection
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