Our Team

Management & Sales

Born and raised in the Barossa Valley, Peter John joined the family company in late 1976 as an apprentice cooper, indentured to his father Master Cooper Warren John. Awarded his Trade Cooper’s certificate in January of 1981, Peter worked in a hands on capacity on the factory floor, rising through the ranks as Tradeskill Developer, Manager and Production Controller until achieving the position of Managing Director and Master Cooper in 1993.

During the late 1980s, Peter began undertaking extensive overseas travel to develop A.P.John’s existing oak supply chain. His success in procuring new sources of supply for super premium grade oak in both Europe and the USA laid the groundwork that enabled the company to expand to its present production levels.
It was around this time that Peter became the driving force behind the development and implementation of new techniques and processes within the cooperage, creating breakthrough technologies in conjunction with specialist machinery designers and manufacturers in Germany, France and Australia.

It is largely Peter’s vision and determination that has changed the art of coopering, both within the A.P. John cooperage and the industry at large into the modern industry it is today.

More than thirty years after joining the company, Peter continues to nurture and develop relationships with the world’s best suppliers of super premium oak, visiting forests and mills around the world on a regular basis. Whilst working closely with cooperage management on day to day operations, Peter remains true to his trade roots by spending as much time as possible on the cooperage’s factory floor ensuring the continuation of his family’s hard won reputation as Australia’s premium quality coopers.

Starting with A.P. John in 1984 as Administration Assistant, Catherine John is both ‘front of office’ and Personal Assistant to Managing Director and husband Peter.
Catherine developed the business administration and office systems that complemented and enabled Peter’s supply and production system innovations during the 1980s, before developing the customer relations role that saw her involved in function management and marketing for the company. In 1998, the role of Executive Assistant was added to Catherine’s tasks.

As the administrative face of A.P. John, Catherine not only fulfils the multitude of roles assigned to her but also finds the time to raise her and Peter’s two sons Alexander and William.

Bringing well over twenty years experience in the banking and finance industry to the position, Kingsley Wiseman joined A.P. John in 1997. Primarily involved in the management of the company’s financial and administrative functions, as Kingsley’s knowledge of Oak products has developed over time he has added the further string of sales to his bow.

Jarrod Schmidt has a background in horticulture within the Barossa region. Jarrod has diverse experience within the wine industry having worked in the cellar, nursery and cellar door sales for Yalumba. He gained valuable experience in event management as Special Event Coordinator at Yalumba for four years before joining the A.P. John sales team in 2002. Primarily concentrating on the interstate and New Zealand wine markets, Jarrod is knowledgeable in all facets of A.P. John’s sales and product areas.

John McGovern has worked in the domestic and international wine industry since 1996. Initially working for a leading packing supplier during the ’90 he was introduced to oak barrels and additives when the company expanded its portfolio to include oak. From 2000 until 2006 he was the Australian Director of the Spanish company - Ramondin Capsulas. He was lured back into the oak industry as Sales and Marketing manager for a large Cooperage company in 2006 responsible for all sales and marketing decisions involving the Australian, New Zealand and South African markets. He now brings his acquired industry knowledge and experience to A.P. John.

Coopers – Combines over 100 years of experience

The factory foreman Ashley Redden has been with A.P.John since 1982. Giving him over 25 years of experience in barrel production. Acted in a supervisory roll since 1992 & became foreman when the position became available in 2002. Ashley manufactures the barrels as well as supervises the process.

The training supervisor Warren Schutz –1984 – over 25 years. Started as an apprentice in 1984. Became a supervisor 1992 then training supervisor in 2002.

Prefabrication Supervisor Eric Sparks – 1996 – 13 years. Worked in a supervisory role since 1998. Worked on the land as a farm hand, shearer then moved on to work in all aspects of vineyard processes. Still keeps his hand in, working in vineyards during his spare time.


Production Coordinator Kim Birch brings over 30 years of experience in the manufacturing industry to her role, where she is responsible for areas such as purchasing, production scheduling and costing. Kim works with both manual and fully computerised systems to keep track of work processes and stock levels.