Is “Terroir” Worth $12,000?

Take the leap….


When I see them I know what is implied by "", "", "" "" or "". Without even looking at what’s behind these URLs I can feel pretty confident I know what I’ll get if I do go look and so would the average person.

But what would the average American expect upon being confronted with ""?

I’m willing to bet that outside the hardcore wine community, the response to this URL would be something along the lines of, "Wow…what a terrible speller!"

Perhaps the adventurous horror film buff by investigate this URL. Or a hopeful fancier of terriers might look it up in hopes of finding a new venue to upload the latest shenanigans of their beloved "Chrissi The Wonder Terrier".

Now…within the hardcore wine community and withing the French speaking world, something different happens. I suspect this URL would be considered something of value. How much value?

Well, to a bidder named consommateur the "" url is currently worth $12,000.

This is the current high bid for the somewhat obscure word at an auction for the web address currently underway at I can infer that the bidder is French speaking, which goes by to my theory that this particular URL would be of much greater value to an entrepreneur working inside the French-speaking world. What surprises me is that the bid is ONLY up to $12,000. Again from a French perspective, this is pretty good on-line real estate.

What’s really interesting about the whole issue of URL valuations is what people THINK a domain is worth. The same allows me to do a search of URLs for sale at the site. Looking for URLs with "wine" in the domain and sorting it for price (what they are asking) returns some pretty interesting results as well as what appear to me to be some pretty inflated ideas about the nature of Internet Real Estate Values:—$850,000—$345,000—$250,000—$184,800—$250,000—$99,000—$90,000—$80,000—$50,000—$25,000 for $12,000 is starting to look like a bargain.

Of those URLs listed above " and "" and "" all look pretty interesting to me and I can imagine a number of interesting business models that might benefit from being associated with those web addresses. In fact, "" almost looks like a bargain.


Take the leap….


10 Responses

  1. johng - July 12, 2007

    There is a guy – forgot his name – who holds a bunch of these wine type domains and is always trying to sell them for insane prices. I had some clients nibbling at one last year, and my take was – who has made money off Just the guy who registered it and sold it for one million, last I heard. And stuff like Please. I tell people if you want to look at successful online business models, who has been successful? or or You need creativity, a good product, and a business plan more than you need a generic web address.

  2. Jack - July 12, 2007

    You missed some: – $44,444 – $20,000 – $20,000 – $200,000 – $5,000 – $2,000 (a bargain!) – (no longer available) – $60,000 – $32,000 – $50,000 – oops, taken
    and my favorite: – $10,000

  3. JB - July 12, 2007

    we’re getting the sense that you want us to take some sort of survey?
    as for this post…coming up with a meaningful domain name is very difficult. They are pretty much ALL taken or being hawked by mercenaries who snapped them up years ago.
    I do agree with JohnG who says that the generic names are not necessarily the way to go. But it’s a huge challenge to think of a Yahoo, Google or Amazon — these are one in a billion names that just have that “je ne sais quoi” about them. To me, Cork’d comes closest and this could be one of the major reasons that Gary V. has been so aggressive there.

  4. tom merle - July 16, 2007

    If went for a purported 3 mil, what am I bid for…?

  5. Paul Mabray - July 23, 2007

    Also, advice from a guy in the biz – buy all the itterations of your site: e.g.,, The last thing you want someone doing is buying URL’s related to yours and hijacking your traffic or holding you ransom to buy it.
    Inertia – Powering the Wine Revolution
    —Paul Mabray – CEO

  6. Alex - July 26, 2007 for $12k is a great deal. The problem with your examples is that they are what people are trying to sell those names for – not what someone will pay. Those prices are absolute jokes on those really ba d names. went for $7k about 3 weeks ago in an auction.
    Domain values are skyrocketing right now, and once the rest of the world realizes the value of generic domains, they will be mad at themselves for not paying $5k or $20k for a great name. just sold for $350 million. Obviously they have a nice business behind them, but that unbelievable domain name got them in a lot of doors, and provided plenty of free traffic to them.

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  9. terroirguy - June 26, 2008

    Hi there,
    Well, just a quick hello from france to say a quick hello to you, wine fanatics ^^
    Kudos to Tom for his vision, there are many people who do still not understand the power of a good
    And yes, it was cheap. I bought the name without hesitations :*)
    FYI, “terroir branded” market is huge here in France, as it covers several niches like wine (obviously), but also healthy/ top quality food-related product and services. From what I have heard, it a different story in the US as “terroir” is a quite unknown concept I believe.
    Good nite.

  10. terroirguy - June 26, 2008

    Apologizes for my fat fingerz 🙂

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