I spotted this over at La Vigne and thought what a brilliant Christmas present it would be for all Bordeaux enthusiasts and wine merchants! Monopoly has created a new version of their famous board game, designed by the France Agricole Association: Le Monopoly de la France Agricole. The expensive streets of Paris have been replaced by famous French vineyards including those of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Jura and Champagne.
The game of Monopoly can be traced back to 1903, undergoing a few incarnations in the USA until it took the form of the board game we recognise today in 1934. Interestingly in 1941 the British Secret Service had John Waddington Ltd (the licensed manufacturer of the game outside the States) create a special edition for Second World War prisoners held by the Nazis – hidden inside the board games were maps, compasses, real money and other objects useful for escaping!
The idea with Le Monopoly de la France Agricole is to acquire land and to build on your investment by purchasing chais and silos instead of the usual houses and hotels in the traditional game. Players have to negotiate with their neighbours to acquire land at auction, develop direct sales and charge rents. If you ‘own’ a vineyard then you build wine making facilities and cellars.
If you go to ‘Jail’ your grape harvest will have to be harvested by other players and the ‘Community Chest’ and ‘Chance’ cards have been adapted to suit the game – examples are cards for ‘pay premiums for biodiversity conservation’ and ‘vet expenses’.
Other agricultural activities are represented including keeping livestock, arable farming and arboriculture however viticulture claims the most expensive purchases available to you on the board: these being great vineyards of Bordeaux and the Côtes de Blancs in Champagne.
The new Monopoly game is available on the website of La Galerie Verte at the price of 48.90 euros. Sadly there is not an English version so you may need your French dictionary if you buy the game. Bon Chance!