The John Family first settled in South Australia’s world renowned Barossa Valley in the 1840’s.
The cooperage produces up to 110 new barrels per day, made from high quality French, American and Hungarian Oak that has been seasoned for three winters at the site where it was milled.
The cooperage celebrated its 125-year milestone and five generations as a family-run business.
Alex John joined the family business as an apprentice cooper. His current roles include cooper, chief toaster, production planner as well as product development, interfacing with the sales team.
A business relationship was established with the Francois Freres Group.
This was a time when new technology was introduced into the cooperage. The A.P. John Cooperage was the first in the world to incorporate ‘computer numerical control’ (CNC) technology.
By the early 1980s, the Australian wine industry was changing rapidly and the A.P. John business was evolving to keep pace with a huge upsurge in sales of Australian wine in the UK.
Warren and Shirley’s son Peter joined the business in 1976. While Peter was hands on with the tools straight away, he was also thrust straight into the deep end – helping to steer the business in a dynamic period.
AP passed away in the 1950s and the business succession plan saw ‘AP John and Sons’ taken over solely by AP’s youngest son, Warren, in 1960. (Warren had four older brothers and five sisters)
A crew of 50 people in the cooperage was producing 80 barrels per day for the transport of export wine back to ‘The Empire’.
AP built a new bespoke cooperage, on the current site on Basedow Road, and the business grew rapidly. At one stage he employed about 60 people. It was then called ‘AP John and Sons’.
CP John passed away at a fairly young age, leaving AP to support his mother and siblings as well as run the cooperage – ultimately buying the business in his own right.
Christian Paul (CP) John was apprenticed by Mr Keuper of Angaston and was subsequently employed by the Adelaide Wine Company (now the Chateau Tanunda winery) as a contract cooper. Records show he started employing his own apprentice coopers from 1889, including his own son Arthur Paul (AP).
The John family immigrated to Australia’s Barossa Valley. Like other early Barossa settlers, the family was from Prussia (now the most eastern parts Germany and Poland).