Traditionally, a cooper is someone who makes wooden staved vessels of a conical form, of greater length than breadth, bound together with hoops and possessing flat ends or heads. Examples of a cooper's work include but are not limited to casks, barrels, buckets, tubs, butter churns, hogsheads, firkins, tierces, rundlets, puncheons, pipes, tuns, butts, pins and breakers. The word is derived from Middle Dutch kūpe, "basket, wood, tub" and may ultimately stem from cupa, the Latin word for vat .

Everything a cooper produces is referred to collectively as cooperage. "Cask" is a generic term used to describe any piece of cooperage containing a bouge, bilge, or bulge in the middle of the container. A barrel is technically a measure of the size of a cask, so the term "barrel-maker" cannot be used synonymously with "cooper." The facility in which casks are made is also referred to as a cooperage.

Traditionally there were four divisions in the cooper's craft. The "dry" or "slack" cooper made containers that would be used to ship dry goods such as cereals, nails, tobacco, fruits and vegetables. The "dry-tight" cooper made casks designed to keep dry goods in and moisture out. Gunpowder and flour casks are examples of a "drytight" cooper's work. The "white cooper" made straight staved containers like washtubs, buckets and butter churns, that would hold water and other liquids, but did not allow shipping of the liquids. Usually there was no bending of wood involved in white cooperage. The "wet" or "tight" cooper made casks for long- term storage and transportation of liquids that could even be under pressure, as with beer.

Dolly Parton at Hope Estate


The legendary Dolly Parton will be returning to Australia for an almighty string of concerts this November.

The tour begins in Perth on Tuesday 8 November at Burswood Dome, before heading to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre for a show on Saturday 12 November. The show rolls east to Sydney at Acer Arena on Tuesday 15 November, and then onwards to wine country for an outdoor show at Hope Estate in the Hunter Valley on Saturday 19 November. Dolly and her band then head to Melbourne for shows on Tuesday 22 & Wednesday 23 November at Rod Laver Arena before finishing up at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Friday 25 & Saturday 26 November.

How does one begin to describe an icon like Dolly Parton? Singer-songwriter, author, multi-instrumentalist, actress, philanthropist, businesswoman; this mighty talent's list of credentials is worth every ounce of veneration she receives.

Hailed as 'The Queen of Country Music,' her four and a half decade career since her national chart debut has seen her become one of the most successful female artists in the history of the country genre, with twenty-five number one singles, and a record forty-one top 10 country albums. In addition to her illustrious music career, Parton's foray into other ventures include a self-titled theme park, television variety shows and several successful films – including an Oscar nomination for her role in 9 to 5 – all of which have cemented her status as an American superstar.

Australian fans will be delighted when the Smoky Mountain Songbird takes the stage and shows us exactly why she is such a legend. With hits like "9 To 5", "Here You Come Again", "Jolene", and of course the incomparable "I Will Always Love You", audiences are guaranteed to see the show of a lifetime. With all new sets, costumes and even new music from her forthcoming album 'Better Day' to be released later this year, it is sure to make an evening spent with Dolly Parton a night to remember. The two and a half hour show will be a deeply personal affair as Dolly lets the audience inside; telling stories and interacting with fans in a wholly new show featuring a brand new production, lighting and video.

Parton's arrival on Australian shores in November this year, will be her first in nearly thirty years and is certain to be the milestone event of the 2011 touring calendar.

Rod Stewart at Hope Estate

With forty years of chart-topping singles and albums under his belt, Rod Stewart will be rocking his incredible 'The Hits' tour on stages in Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne as well as two special concerts at Hope Estate Winery in the Hunter Valley and Hanging Rock in the Macedon Ranges.

Having a phenomenal 62 hit singles in the UK, of which 31 reached the top 10, concert goers can expect to be treated to the likes of Tonight's The Night, Maggie May, You Wear It Well, Stay With Me, The First Cut Is the Deepest, Sailing, Hot Legs, Da Ya Think I'm Sexy...the list of Rod Stewart's chart-toppers goes on and on. And if past tours are anything to go by Rod will smash out hit after hit live with his trademark style and panache, treating fans to a massive trip down memory lane and one hell of a night out.

Recently Rod entertained a crowd of 65,000 at Hyde Park, with the Mirror UK writing; "Rod Stewart...stole the show...The crowd, young and old, sang along to hit after hit, as Rod took them on a musical journey through his career."

Joining Rod on tour throughout Australia is none other than Australia's own hit maker Diesel, whose latest album Under The Influence (Liberation) was released recently to critical acclaim, with Rolling Stone summing things up quite simply with "Damn but this kid can play".

Don't miss out on Rod Stewart performing all the hits you love, with special guest Diesel, in February 2012!

Rod Stewart will perform in the Hunter Valley on February 11th 2012 at Hope Estate on Broke Road, Pokolbin.
Tickets go on sale to the general public on Wednesday 3rd August at 9am. Tickets are available from or 136 100.
For accommodation, visit or call (02) 49 900 900 or for bus transfers to & from the event visit or call (02) 49 901 699.