The world of wine in a glass: Maximilian Riedel

Maximilian J. Riedel is the 11th generation and the managing director of the famous Austrian glass company Riedel based in Kufstein.
Over the years, he received many awards for his work, including those from the Museum of Modern Art, MoMA San Francisco, the Corning Museum of Glass, Maison et Objet Paris, and the wine magazines Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast. 

With solid business knowledge, market understanding and an eye for design, along with an early awareness of the potential of social media and e-commerce, Maximilian continues to successfully lead the family business into the 21st century. He is known to the public as a true global networker, bringing like-minded people together, forging partnerships with companies such as Miele, LVMH, and Nespresso, while never losing sight of the company’s social responsibilities. Pink Ribbon breast cancer projects and partnerships with the Elton John Aids Foundation and Napa Valley Auction also show a strong social commitment. 

He continued to use his creativity to renew Riedel on the web over time and was essential in the creation of the first online shops (one of the most important sales channels for the company internationally).

Riedel vetri
Maximilian J. Riedel

The O series collection

In his journey, we have to mention 2004 because of the introduction of the “O series”, which is a collection of stemless, variety-specific wine glasses. This series not only demonstrated Riedel’s creative talent, but also underscored its commercial ability. In fact, the range became the starting point for the launch of more successful new products such as collections for the hospitality sector, specifically adapted to the needs of the restaurant industry and so on.

Riedel bicchieri
O series wine glasses collection

Interview with Maximilian J. Riedel

Today, his personality also surprises us on social media. His followers are over 100.000 on Instagram and are increasing day by day thanks to his communication skills and proverbial positivity. In our interview, with some tips for the perfect glass and some “spoilers” about the future, we trace his journey and the evolution of the wine glass industry in recent years.

How was the passion for wine and design born?

The passion of wine has a long tradition in my family. We also have a close relationship with Italy. My grandfather Claus J. Riedel spent a lot of his time in Italy where he developed the philosophy of wine friendly glasses together with Sommeliers of Orvieto, this is also the reason why our first handmade glass collection is called Sommeliers.

What are the core values of your company?

The core value is to deliver the best instruments possible to provide the most balanced and complete wine enjoyment.

How the approach of customers in their choice of glasses has changed? Customers are more careful in their choice of glasses?

The awareness has surely grown. More and more people know that choosing the right glass makes a difference for wine enjoyment Riedel selling 60 Mio pieces per year give impressive proof of that.

How the type of glass changes the taste of the wine?

It is the shape of the vessel, the rim diameter that influences and enhances the taste and smell of wine. Providing the perfect tool to create the best possible wine experience is the heart of our philosophy and it is also the reason for our worldwide success.

Riedel glass
Maximilian J. Riedel

How the world of wine glass has changed during your years in this field?

When my grandfather and my father started they often got laughed at. People did not believe in the philosophy of grape varietal glasses. They doubted that the shape of a glass makes a difference. Today our philosophy is state of the art. There are many, many copies of our glasses worldwide – we see that as a proof of our work. Only the best get copied – that is what my father uses to say.

What are the rules for choosing the correct glass?

Easy: depending on what wine you drink, you choose the glass. If your favourite wine is Pinot Noir, you definitely need a Pinot Noir glass. If it is oaked chardonnay, it is worth trying our oaked chardonnay glass.

As regards the Decanter, has it a specific function besides table decor?

Very important! The task of a decanter is to open the wine, to support the and show it off at its best. Depending on old or young wine,  we offer many shapes. The fact that our decanters also look fancy and beautiful is only a plus.

Riedel vino
Maximilian J. Riedel

Crystal and glass, what’s the difference for the wine?

It is mainly the shape, not the material. Of course the look and feel of a crystal glass is completely different.

Where do you find inspiration and ideas in social media communication?

Maximilian is a very open minded and creative person who finds inspiration literally in everything and everywhere. Be it in nature or museums, while travelling, playing with his kids and surely on social media too.

Could you spoil some new projects?

Many! But I would like to highlight a new collection called Supperleggero.

In homage to the 50th Anniversary of Sommeliers, we reintroduce Riedel Superleggero. It’s really a new benchmark for premium machine-blown wine glasses. The perfection of a machine-made glass compared to handmade lies in the precision of the bowl and rim diameter and its consistent quality.

I am very proud of this collection of the largest, thinnest, and lightest glasses with the widest base diameter of up to 106 mm ever produced on machine to date. Riedel Superleggero glasses are fine-tuned instruments, specifically shaped to enhance your wine enjoyment. Perfectly balanced, specific for every wine and with the look and feel of a handmade glass.


© Riproduzione riservata