Kefalonia – Grape Picking and Wine Making in Kefalonia

In 2004, I lived on the Greek island of Kefalonia for a few months to do some grape picking. Here is the brief story as to how that came about, and what I got up to!

Dave Briggs grape picking in Kefalonia in 2004

Time in Kefalonia

In May 2004, I returned from a backpacking adventure around India by train, and worked for a couple of months in the UK. During that time though, I was in contact with someone in Kefalonia who needed help with a grape harvest.

Always willing to try something new, I booked myself a flight, and made my way over to the Greek island of Kefalonia to see what would happen!

A view out over a great beach in Kefalonia

I knew there wouldn't be much time for sightseeing or checking out the beaches in Kefalonia, but was looking forwards to some new experiences.

Working in Kefalonia

I spent a couple of months living on the island of Kefalonia in the same tent that I had started my original travels with many years before.

It occurred to me somewhere along the line, that I had actually spent an accumulated 2 years living in that tent! That was back in the days when Vaude made some good ones!

Grapes in Kefalonia

The tent was set up in an olive grove, which itself was part of the grounds of a house. The house was owned by Gabrielle, who was the chief wine maker for Gentilini Wines at the time.

Grape picking in Kefalonia

Grape Picking in Kefalonia

My days saw me picking grapes for either Gentilini Wines or some of the other local growers in the mornings. The afternoons, were either spent in pain through my back, or loading grapes into the press.

Collecting the grapes to be pressed in Kefalonia Greece

More often than not, it was both!

Beers and kebabs helped the days pass by, and led to some good conversations at night. During one spell, we had to turn the wine over every several hours in one of the vats, which meant being up at all hours.

At one stage, I even put labels on the wine, and bottled some.

Picking grapes in Kefalonia


Time in Kefalonia working at a winery


Working in Kefalonia

All in all, it was an amazing experience, and one i would happily repeat in another country at some point. A few months later, I was posted 3 bottles of the wine that I had made, and the one bottle that I haven't consumed is one of my rarer prize possessions. never to be opened!


My memories are of a cracking bunch of people, so my thanks go out to Gentilini wines, Gabrielle, Roger, Petros, Marriana, Carolina, Mike and all the rest.

Making wine in Kefalonia

(As a footnote, after it's long years of good service, I left my tent in Kefalonia. It was a shame to see it go, as I had many fond memories such as being trapped in it for 36 hours of torrential rain in New Zealand, being attacked by ants, repairing it more times than I can mention, and carrying it around seemingly everywhere, but there will always be another!!)

If you're planning to visit Kefalonia, why not read my guide on the best areas to stay in Kefalonia.

Interested in working your way around the world? Take a look here: How to work while traveling by picking up jobs locally

Read about Greece

Little did I know at the time, but I would eventually end up living in Greece! Since then, I have written dozens of travel guides to Greece. Take a look by starting here, and you could also sign up for my newsletter!

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