Bibber International




WISA Chairman's Award Winner 2012

Working in Australia - Vintage Work

Sorry, currently no visas available



Definition of a Bibber

'someone who indulges in frequent and convivial drinking of wine.'

Is this you?

Doing a vintage in another part of the world is an incredible lifechanging experience-ask anyone who has done it!

My story…
A long time ago (in 1999) I decided to take the step that you are considering now. I had been working at the Australian Wine Research Institute for almost 14 years and while I had learned a lot about the theory of winemaking, I thought that it was about time for me to experience the pointy end of vintage. One of my favourite varieties was Zinfandel so my quest was to learn more about this variety and the styles it can make. Because of this quest, I looked for an opportunity in California, USA.

Sue CaloghirisI was very lucky and got the opportunity to work at a very small winery (300 tonnes) called Quivira in the Dry Creek Valley. This is near Sonoma, further west than Napa and closer to the coast. Quivira made Zin in a softer style than some of the big juicy fruit forward numbers and while I liked them all (except the white version!) I wanted to know more about how they handled the fruit.

So I went through the visa process and luckily received my passport back in the post - the day before I left!

I arrived at the winery on the start date, ready to work and learn all about it. I spent the first few days cleaning and soon realised that driving a pen in the Analytical Service Laboratory had not really equipped me with the muscles required to climb in and out of the small fermenters. The first one I had to clean was a killer because someone helped me into it and then no one was around when I tried to get out! Probably a good thing as my exit was very undignified and had serious bruises on my legs for quite a while! My fitness and strength slowly improved and I was soon a whizz at dragging the 4 inch must lines around (empty) and pulling apart the 'Walkinshaw' pump and the small crusher de-stemmer. All the grapes were sorted and the MOG removed so I spent many hours standing at the sorting table talking to my new found friends and learning more about them, their culture and American music. The friends that I made during the period are still my friends today and one of them is a Winemaker offering the same opportunities to other international people, keen to learn.

I was at Quivira for 8 weeks and during that time I learned a lot about winemaking, US culture and also about myself. It was one of the best times of my life and one I will never forget. Since then I have heard many Bibbers say the same thing, the life-long friends to be made, the new perspective on life. In all the years Bibber has been operating I have never heard of anyone who regretted their decision.

Now I am very proud to offer people these same opportunities in all the winemaking regions of Australia.  We find you the winery and also sponsor you for the visa. We can help you no matter which country you are from and whether you are in Australia or overseas.

You do however need to meet some simple requirements:

  • You need to be under 31
  • You need to have qualifications or be experienced in winemaking, viticulture or
    Laboratory analysis
  • You need basic  English language skills, and
  • You need to be interested in Australian culture

Please check out all the program information and let me know if you have any questions at all!

Sue Caloghiris CEO Bibber


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Bibber International Pty Ltd      PO Box 146 Glenelg South Australia 5045