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Terroir winemaking game exits early access cellar

Terroir

Low-poly winemaking tycoon game, Terroir [official site], is out today. It caught my attention because it reminded me I’d always meant to try Viticulture – a worker-placement board game themed around cultivating a vineyard in Tuscany. Terroir seems to have a more modern setting, what with a plane and electric lighting appearing in the trailer but I have a fondness for hyper-specific management scenarios hence being intrigued by both this and Viticulture!

Weather, grape variety, economics and the various stages of winemaking all seem to factor in, as well as running the gauntlet of wine critic reviews. (Doesn’t the wine critic on the right look like Graham? The middle one looks a bit like Julie Benz, too.)

My dad is super into wine so, if I remember right, “terroir” is the sense of a region, or the specific essence of a wine which relates to the soil and the climate and all of that. It’s how the environment of a place comes together in the wine.

Here’s what the official blurb offers:

“Terroir lets you manage a vineyard in order to build a winemaking empire. Choose which grapes you want to harvest and how to craft them to achieve excellence. Each grape has different properties so you need to learn and master each one of them. At the same time, you will have to manage your properties and upgrade them to keep growing and become a world renowned winemaker.”

The game has been in early access for a while but today is the point where it switches over to the 1.0 release. I feel like this might be a good one to keep an eye on for odd patch notes or whatnot because there’s already mention of “bad weather, plagues and pests” and a “dynamic weather system patterned after Bourdeax’s wine region climate”.

Here’s a video (made with early access footage) which tells you a bit more about how you actually play:

As a kind of related point, I was having a conversation with a friend who works in the English wine industry recently and there’s a whole world of information and theory about how changing climates and a bunch of other factors are affecting different wine regions.

There’s an article from the Guardian about recent growth and investment in English wine and vineyards and just today Decanter put up a story about a grape which might help winemakers withstand the effects of climate change by offering an extra, late-ripening option to their crops. Another Decanter article – this time about Bordeaux wine and alcohol content – is a good read for how it offers up an overview of how viticulture developed in the area over the last sixty years and how the different bits of the industry interact.

Terroir is available for PC on Windows, Mac and Linux via Steam for £10.99/€14.99/$14.99.

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Philippa Warr

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