Wow! We love this game. Bought for me for my birthday earlier this year, this is a cracking game. First time of playing, with four noobs, it took hours. Second time and beyond, streamlined down to under two hours and often around the 60 minute mark.

The concept of the game, if you haven’t already guessed, is to make wine. The game attempts to follow the process, in the sense that you must plant vines, harvest fields and then make wine! To gain victory points you must then fill orders (although there are a few other ways to obtain them here and there), which consists of completing the wine requirement listed on a card.

Viticulture in action

We like the simplicity of the game, mixed with the complexities of how to win. The concept of making wine and filling orders is simple, the way in which you achieve the minimum of 20 VPs to potentially win, is complicated – which buildings to invest in; are extra workers a good strategy; are visitor cards a good plan??? We also like the fact that achieving 20 VPs will end the game that year, but doesn’t guarantee victory – you could be overtaken by a rival in the last year.

One thing I wasn’t sure about was the single player variant. But I thought, why not, give it a go. Four games later and a bit of a late night, I realised that the single player game is a challenge. Really good concept.

It’s also well made – nice pieces, high quality cards and boards.