Terroir Review (PC)
Terroir is a wine-making tycoon game. I always say, “put ‘Tycoon’ or ‘Simulator’ after anything and I’ll play it!” But with Terroir it was not just the concept, but the style that drew my attention.
In Terroir, the player is in control of their own wine estate. Starting with only your cellar and a single tile with which to plant vines, you need to grow your business, and your grapes.
Trimming your bush
Keeping your grapes ripe is the key to success in Terroir. You will spend your time reacting to the dynamic weather system. When it rains, your vines foliage will grown. When it’s sunny, your grapes will ripen. Vines with too much foliage will cause the ripeness of the grapes to decrease. Monitoring the ripeness in the right hand panel, you need to keep the grapes in the optimal range. This will give you the best quality yield from them come harvest season.
Reap what you sow
You can harvest the grapes between September and November. Pushing later into the year gives the chance at a larger yield in crop. But then you again have to take your chance with the weather. If you don’t harvest before December hits then you will lose all your crops.
With the grapes harvested it’s then on to refining the wine through various processes. In the beginning your options are limited. But as you establish yourself and build up a bigger estate you will unlock more control over this process. You choose how to Pigeage, Ferment, Press and Barrel the wine. Each stage will have an effect on the characteristics of your batch, with the barrel type having an effect that will continue to change the properties of the wine the longer you leave it in storage.
Finding the balance
And this is where the trick lies with the wine making process. Finding the right balance of the characteristics for the wine you are producing is key to getting a 5 star review and a high market value for your wine. The more 5 star reviews you get, the bigger your renown. Consequently, the more prestigious the judges will be, and the harder they will be to please.
Once you have started to get a few good wines under your belt, it will be time to go for the awards. These pop up every four years and allow you to enter an eligible wine into a number of different categories. Do really well and you may just earn the coveted CIVO Winemaker Award!
Yes, the eagle-eyed among you will have spotted that it took 48 years of practise to win this award…
A brutal business
And those 48 years weren’t easy. Terroir is a difficult game. Because wine making is a tricky business. One on which you heavily rely on the random nature of the weather. Some years are good. Some are bad. And a run of bad years can ruin your estate and put you out of business! It’ll take a few playthroughs before you learn how to deal with this.
Once you do though, Terroir can end up being a bit plain sailing. If you reach that 50 year mark with a fat bank balance, a full estate and workers automating most tasks, the game can become a little monotonous. You still have to battle with the weather, but a bad year won’t hurt you nearly as much. More often you’ll be fighting against the lack of storage space in your cellar more than anything. However, you can at any point change which wines you are producing to spice things up a little.
Head in the clouds
But the most wonderful thing about Terroir is that even when you reach the point of monotony, you won’t want to stop playing. The simplistic art style really is beautiful. And it is matched by this wonderful melancholic soundtrack by CLARQuinet, who composed a track for each season. You can have a peak at one of these in the dev diary:
The combination will leave you entranced in Terroir as you battle the seasons and competitors to be crowned the greatest winemaker.
9 grapes crushed out of 10