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Naramata wine region to become a board game

Image Credit: SUBMITTED: Chris Dias

A B.C. wine lover and game producer has combined both his passions and is set to launch an Okanagan based board game all about wine.

The aptly named board game, 'Naramata', focuses on wine and tourism and guides players from winery to winery between Penticton and Naramata.

Prince George-based Chris Dias founded his game company, Dias Ex Machina, in 2006 and has published around 20 role-playing games since. Naramata will be the company's first tabletop board game.

Dias got the idea for the game while on a road trip with his wife from Osoyoos to Kamloops.

"We hit 60 wineries in eight days, which I've been told is not healthy," Dias said. "We fell in love with the whole region and we decided to pick Naramata for the game because it's the one area in Okanagan wine country which is 100 per cent associated with wine cultivation."

Dias said he wanted to bring the two assets, wine and tourism, together to create the game.

In the game, players can assume the role of a tour bus operator taking visitors to the various wineries along the Naramata Bench. Players have a set of requirements to please their guests, from cheese tasting and wine pairing to photo ops. Twenty-six real Naramata wineries feature on the board, along with two fictitious ones Dias made up.

Dias said while there are about a dozen wine-based board games on the market, most lack any real substance.

"They revolve around running a winery, and I wanted it to be about tourism, where you're playing as yourself or you're a tour guide helping other people satisfy their experience," he said.

Dias stresses 'Naramata' is not a drinking game, but players can sip their favourite vintage while playing. It's best not to overdo it though, as the game is considered a medium complexity game, requiring players to keep their wits about them.

Dias is set to launch a Kickstarter campaign Nov. 24 to help fund the production of 'Naramata' which he says will be released sometime next year. It should retail for about $70.

For more information on Naramata go here.

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