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Game review: Viticulture Essential Edition (2015)

Players: 1–6

Playing time: 45–90 min rating: 8.1

Designer: Morten Monrad Pedersen, Jamey Stegmaier, Alan Stone

Artist: Jacqui Davis, David Montgomery, Beth Sobel

Publisher: Stonemaier Games

Type: Strategy

Category: Economic, farming

Mechanisms: Hand management, worker placement

Country: Italy

Theme: Farming, viticulture, wine games

Do you like wine? How about growing some grapes under the Tuscan sun?

Viticulture is my number one board game of all time. Maybe there is a little farmer boss with OCD in me, who knows?

In this strategic wine making game, you compete with other wine makers. Every year you make decisions on where to place your workers. They can be placed in different seasons, summer and winter. The actions are planting, harvesting, selling a field, giving a tour of your vineyard, training a worker, accepting visitors etc.

The aim is to get the highest victory points at the end of the game. You earn these victory points by producing the wine orders of the clients.

With the Tuscany Essential Edition (2016) you can expand the board to have all four seasons, extra building cards and special superhero-like-workers. I named these workers Sebastian and Fatima, since the meeples* look like these characters in my imagination, don’t judge me! Sebastian and Fatima have changing powers per game, like time travel. OMG!

I think my favorite part is aging the wines at the end of the year. It is possible to make rose and sparkly wine by combining red and white grapes in the cellars. Oh yes, you can have up to three cellars according to your needs and capital of course.

Thematically, you can have a glass of your house wine (!) next to you while playing Viticulture.

Oh such elegance…

Cheers to your health!

*For non-gamers, meeple is the shortening of “my people”. A meeple is a wooden piece of figure that has your color in the game. In Viticulture example, your workers are your meeple and you can position them on the action spaces of the board.


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