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Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > August 2019 (#33) > How we made Viticulture

How we made Viticulture

Jamey Stegmaier and Alan Stone pop the cork on how their winemaking hit went from grapes to greatness

In 2013, co-designers Jamey Stegmaier and Alan Stone released Viticulture – a game of Tuscan vineyard owners competing to be recognised as the most prestigious winemakers in their region. It combined an idyllic theme, deep and thoughtful gameplay, and sun-soaked illustrations by artist Beth Sobel, and it wasn’t long before it garnered critical acclaim along with a sizeable community of players.

Six years later, it’s still going strong. In a tabletop hobby where even beloved games can often be cast aside in favour of hot new releases, Viticulture has proven to have some serious staying power. Long-time players still enjoy its brain-teasing challenge, while new fans continue to discover its appeal.


Like many game designers, Jamey Stegmaier traces his roots in the hobby back to his childhood.

“I’ve been playing tabletop games as long as I can remember,” he says. “I grew up in Virginia, and in elementary school my family and friends would play games like chess, Mille Bornes, Labyrinth, Monopoly and Scotland Yard.

“My desire to design games ran parallel to my first experiences playing games. It was just one of those things where I wanted to create just as much as I wanted to play.”

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