Yes, it's not real wood (that would be pretty heavy anyway). But you never have to concern yourself with quality when it comes to Stonemaier Games. This is very well done. It even has wine stains!!! Love it!
Despite my wife's lack of excitement when I showed her that my wine crate is number 539 of the 8400 first printing... I was excited! Mine was one of the first 1000 printed!!! Awesome!
Diving inside, there are many organizers/inserts ready for ALL things Viticulture. This also means, my wine crate is still somewhat empty since I only have the base game (and now Viticulture World expansion). For now...
Here is a shot of the Viticulture World cards and components.
What impresses me about the wine crate is the size of it. It's very well done. Everything fits VERY nicely into the crate, with plenty of room for ease of access. My comparison is Root. The boards JUST fit into the boxes. Whereas here, there is still plenty of room to reach in and easily take out whatever you need to bring to the table. That's a selling point for me for sure!
Let's dive into Viticulture World....
To be honest, I knew very little about this expansion. The only reason I got it now, before getting the other Viticulture expansions was because it's included with this first printing of the wine crate. So why not!?
What I didn't expect was that this co-op expansion has it's own board...
At first glance it seems so different. As I read through the rules, I was reminded that I should never panic about "different" when it comes to Stonemaier expansions. Sure there are new mechanics and ways of thinking, but overall, the expansion seamlessly (in my opinion) ADDS to the already great base game of Viticulture.
In Viticulture World, you ALWAYS start with 4-workers and your Grande worker (no matter what the 'blue and red' cards say ... a.k.a Mama/Papa cards). And you get these cool little hats!!! 🤗
Yellow hat workers are seasonal summer workers, while blue hat workers are season winter workers that can only be played in their respective seasons. When you 'train a worker', you remove a hat and now that 'trained worker' can be placed during either summer or winter seasons (like your grande worker).
Being a co-op game, I didn't anticipate a solo mode (although being a Stonemaier fan I should've known). I'm excited to jump into it, but for this first playthrough I played two handed. (*by the end, I realized that perhaps the solo mode will HELP me ... because obviously I need help to win 🤣).
I won't dive deep into the gameplay here, but I will say it was very fun! The elements of the base game are still very much present, with some wonderful new additions to the co-op game!!
The Viticulture World game board is actually double sided. The opposite side to the one I played has the added card space for structure cards (which I believe are part of the Tuscany expansion). Otherwise, I'm pretty sure it's the same on each side.
I played the 'GreenGully' continent first. This is the fictional continent from Stonemaier's game Charterstone. This intro continent gets you introduced to the event cards, the innovation tiles and the rest of the gameplay as it eases you into Viticulture World play. Apparently not enough though, because I still lost. 🤣 VW really brings about different ways of thinking and more options to consider and explore to try to reach the goal for the win (25 VPs each player & 10 influence by the end of the 6th year! Yes that's right - one year less than the base game. Uh oh! ). Continents each have different difficulty ratings, so it may be while before I get to explore some of the tougher continents. 😮 But again, perhaps the solo mode (Burratino) will help provide me with some smarter decisions and experience in running my winery. 😉
I'm definitely looking forward to getting this to the table again soon!