What we do

A ‘cooper’ is a person who makes and repairs barrels. Coopering itself is an ancient craft and the trade was formalised in the 13th century with the recognition of the Coopers Guild in Europe.

As coopers, in the true sense of the word, we make barrels. We’ve been making them in the Barossa since the late 1880s.

The cooper’s skills have been passed on from master cooper to apprentice across five generations of the John family.
Today those skills extend to the production and manufacture of a whole new spectrum of oak-related products, designed to complement the winemaking process.

“The final stages in the creation of the barrel are controlled by hand. Quality control – the hand and the eye, a visual inspection interior and exterior, then the barrel is closed permanently.”

Peter John - Managing Director and Master Cooper

Who we are

The John family settled in the Barossa in the 1840s. Since then, five generations have been connected with viticulture, winemaking and coopering industries. The cooperage traces its history back more than 130 years, when Christian Paul John established a business based at Chateau Tanunda in 1889.

Today the business is managed by Peter John, a fourth-generation Master Cooper and the great-grandson of the company founder. The fifth generation is represented in the business with Alex John an senior member of the team.

There are not many cooperages in the world with more than 130 years of family management – the tradition of our trade as well as the lessons of the past helps to shape and assist the future direction.

The family-owned cooperage is committed to quality, innovation and outstanding service.

Our Community

The A.P. John business is proud to have been part of the Australian grape and wine community since the late 1800s. As a result, we’ve developed strong links with many of Australia’s leading wineries.

We’re also proud to be a part of the Barossa community and we’ve been big supporters of local events and organisations.

Our connections, sponsorships, partnerships and memberships extend across the following areas:

Wine shows
Australian Small Winemakers Show
Barossa Wine Show
Clare Valley Regional Wine Show
Coonawarra Cup
McLaren Vale Wine Show
Riverland Wine Show
Sydney Royal Wine Show

Charity events
Variety SA Vintage Wine Auction & Lunch

Secondary education
Faith Lutheran College Wine Education

Within our community
Barossa Grape and Wine Association
Tanunda Football Club
Tanunda Hockey Club
Tanunda Pines Golf Club
The Tanunda Show
The Tanunda Town Band

Australian Distillers Association (A.D.A.)
The peak industry body for Australian distillers, founded in 2004.


Terms and Conditions; Privacy Policy



The ‘terms and conditions’ governing the provision of products and services by A.P. John Coopers are available here. Our Privacy Policy is outlined here.

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