The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) met today in London to discuss adding new .wine and .vin domains during their annual session.
The addition of these domains has been a long time coming. In 2010, Project DotVinum began their efforts to create the domains. In 2012, ICANN launched a program to investigate new global top level domains (gTLDs.) At that time, several private companies applied for .wine gTLDs.
Almost immediately, tensions began between the private firms who wanted .wine and .vin domains and countries, as well as winemakers, who wanted to protect the reputation of their wines. The European Federation of Origin Wines (EFOW) sent a petition to ICANN, as they believe .wine and .vin could violate some existing intellectual property rights. ICANN could not come to an agreement with EFOW about the future of .wine and .vin, and ICANN has since replied to OFOW's letter, stating "ICANN has continued with the processing of the .VIN and .WINE applications."
France has been particularly outspoken about this tension. Axelle Lemaire, France's minister of digital affairs, spoke at the ICANN session. Lemaire believes that these new domains "would threaten France’s desire to 'preserve the cultural diversity' built on Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne—wines endemic to different French wine regions."