The new domains have become a serious issues for wine producers after they realized that, to date, the .wine and .vin new top-level domain applicant has not included in its application detailed and appropriate safeguards for the protection of geographical indications or wine-growing place names.
Their legitimate fear is that geographical indications such as Champagne, which cannot be used by any other firms other than those in the Champagne region, could be undermined by firms buying domains for web adresses that would confuse consumers, such as ‘champagne.wine’.
As an accountable registry operator working in close partnership with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), the .bio top-level domain is respectful of the wine producer interests. In some wine production area, up to 20% of the production is organic, like in the Rhône Valley as well as in Burgundy.
Since opening, European wine geographical indications are all protected in .bio domains. Domain names like ‘champagne.bio’ or ‘meursault.bio’ are blocked for registration and can only be unblock and register by the legitimate organisations representing these indications. We have already liaised with many of them and registered famous wine brand indications, such as the Italian sparkling wine indication ‘prosecco.bio’ or the unique Provence white wine indication ‘palette.bio’! If you are in charge of a wine geographical indication and want to register a .bio domain name, please contact a registrar.
In a letter dated November 13, 2013, Mrs. Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission, wrote to the CEO of ICANN, the international organisation in charge of domain name regulation that “we have good examples in other negotiated solutions on equally sensitive strings for the EU like .bio.”
Many wine producers already trust in .bio domains regarding the importance of promoting their production on line, benefiting from .bio as a trust label for internet users. You will find below good examples of wine producers that have already chosen .bio as their internet domain!