What the Heck Is Viticulture?

Recently I got your feedback on the Viticulture logo, but I really haven’t talked about what Viticulture is. You’ve probably gathered that it’s a board game that I’ve been working on for the last 10 months. But that’s pretty much it.

So here’s the breakdown of Viticulture: The Strategic Game of Winemaking:

In the game, you find yourself in rustic, pre-modern Tuscany, where you’ve inherited a meager vineyard. You’ll have a few plots of land, an old crushpad, a tiny cellar, 4 workers…and the dream of owning the best winery in Italy.

Your job is to allocate your workers to complete various tasks throughout the year. Each season is different on a vineyard, so the workers have different tasks they can take care of in the summer and winter. There’s competition over those tasks, and often the first worker to arrive at each one has an advantage over the rest.

Fortunately for the you, people love to visit wineries, and it just so happens that many of those visitors are willing to help out around your vineyard. Their visits (in the form of visitor cards) are brief but can be very helpful.

Using those workers and visitors, you can expand your vineyard by building structures, planting vines, and filling wine orders as you work towards the goal of owning the most successful winery in Tuscany.

The graphic design on the board isn’t finished yet, but I’d love to show you the art for the game board (the game actually consists of one common game board and one vineyard mat per player, but the art for the mat is still in progress):

Art credit: David Montgomery

If you want to see what the board looked like during the 10-month prototype stage, click here to go to the Stonemaier Games blog. You might notice a few subtle differences…

Have you ever dreamed of owning a vineyard? Or perhaps making your own beer, jam, etc?


18 Responses to “What the Heck Is Viticulture?”

  1. Orianna says:

    Absolutely! Well, [in my case], it was either going to be a vineyard or a tequila (HAIL MEXICO) distillery. In fact, there is this Spanish soap where the pretty girls (haha surprise!) are crushing the grapes. And another one came out a few years later where the gal was learning about harvesting agave and making tequila. This latter actress is now the presumptive first lady per a controversial Presidential election.

    I think there is something almost cathartic about wineries and distilleries.

    I remember a pleasant birthday that I spent in Napa Valley at the Duckhorn winery. I ended chatting up some tourists from Quebec while sipping some of Duckhorn’s famous Sauvignon Blanc.

  2. Carole says:

    I don’t know how many vineyards and wineries are in and around Richmond, but there are about a bazillion around here. This would sell so well in Charlottesville. And the vineyards could sell them. And you could customize the packaging and game board for each vineyard, like UVAopoly …

  3. Carole says:

    It’s like Settlers of Catan … for party people!

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Exactly! Settlers with wine. 🙂 (At least, it’s in the same category of games as Settlers.)

      That’s neat that so many local wineries have sprung up! If the game takes off, we’d love to do customizable versions of collectible components for different wineries.

  4. Elaine says:

    I’m actually in the process with one of my sisters of starting a wine CHARM business – not a winery just yet 🙂 … We make them in a really unique way that I’ve NEVER seen in stores before, but they are really cool.

    I think it’s awesome that you so actively pursue your passions … it’s definitely a slow process so you definitely a determined person. We’ve been working on our charms since May, but we’ll be at our first craft fair in early October. 🙂

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Elaine–That’s great that you have the entrepreneurial spirit! Having you started manufacturing the charms? What makes them unique?

      • Elaine says:

        We’re manufacturing like crazy! We have around 300 sets of 6 charms made so far. It’s all completely handmade – we use designed craft paper, punch a one-inch circle, then pour a resin over that so it domes on top of the paper while it dries. Then we attach the charm (and glass beads) to memory wire, and curl back the ends to ensure nothing falls off the wire.

        They’re adorable – it’s actually going to be hard to part with some of the designs we have. I’m going to have to keep a snowman set for myself. 🙂

  5. Adrienne says:

    Do you think it’s simple enough to follow that a couple glasses of wine won’t interfere with players’ ability to play? That would be my main concern! Sounds fun!

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Adrienne–Definitely! It was our goal as we were making it that it would be an “easy to learn, difficult to master” type of game. Technically we haven’t playtested it while inebriated, but perhaps we should do that before finalizing anything.

      Any volunteers? 🙂

  6. Ansley says:

    I would love to own a winery. I became well acquainted with wine a few years ago and have been hooked ever since. Unfortunately, my favorite bottle of wine puts me back about $100, so I don’t get it that often (when I can even find it). If I had my own vineyard, I would be one happy woman!

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