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subsequent circular: The paintings of exceptional Wine Glasses With Maximilian Riedel, CEO of Riedel Glass

On this episode of "subsequent round," host Zach Geballe speaks with Maximilian Riedel, CEO of the eponymous 11th-technology glass brand, about how Riedel's ubiquitous wine glasses  increase quite a lot of styles of wines. As a strong point wine glass enterprise, Riedel creates custom glassware for myriad varietals — from Chardonnay, to Cabernet Sauvignon, to Pinot Noir.

Riedel also discusses the long background and enduring technique of glassmaking in Austria. ultimately, Riedel and Geballe discuss the correct solution to clean and care for wine glasses and decanters.

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Zach Geballe: From Seattle, Wash., I'm Zach Geballe, and this is a "VinePair Podcast" "subsequent round" conversation. We're bringing you these conversations in between our usual podcast episodes which will center of attention on various issues and studies in the drinks world. today, I actually have the privilege of talking with Maximilian Riedel. He's the CEO and president of Riedel. Maximilian, thanks so lots on your time.

Maximilian Riedel: thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

Z: Yeah, my pleasure. here is an interview that I've been actually anticipating as a result of, for someone like me who's labored in the wine business for rather a very long time, your enterprise's glasses are ubiquitous. I touch one most days. And even at home, they're what I drink out of personally. i will say i needed to beginning with the history of the company and your family unit's heritage as glass producers.

M: thanks, Zach. Our heritage is lengthy and has without doubt many, many experiences to tell. we're celebrating this year our 265th anniversary.

Z: Wow.

M: we are in the eleventh generation, and we take our job very significantly. The family changed into not all the time within the construction of wine glasses, however at all times in the construction of glass. Glass is what we breathe and is what we know optimum. we've grew to become artwork items, decorative glassware, and perfume bottles, all of the capabilities that we had, and turned it into professional wine glasses.

Z: When did the company of wine glasses themselves start?

M: After World war II, just before World battle II, my family unit have been Sudeten Germans, which potential they have been Bohemians in Bohemia. The family operated many, many factories of pressed glassware. The glassware traveled throughout the realm. They have been also noted for glass bead production for jewelry. here is what they did firstly. After World conflict II, my grandfather, who become in the German military as a soldier, discovered himself in Austria as a extremely young man. He become trying to find a glass factory as a result of he was attempting to find work. There turned into fully no communication with home, with the homeland. He restarted and became fortunate to satisfy on the correct time, the correct people who gave him shield and money to examine. Then, he had a imaginative and prescient. He had a imaginative and prescient of a thin, handmade, mouth-blown glassware. This turned into the starting.

Z: You outlined a little bit about that, the methodology. i'll admit my own lack of knowledge of this, but are you able to supply us an explanation of how a first-rate wine glass is made.

M: neatly, the production procedure isn't a straightforward one. At Riedel, we're probably the most few leftovers. we have handmade creation however our dominance is nowadays machine-made production. We produce everything in Europe. Handmade mouth-blown in Kufstein, Austria. this is the place we now have our headquarters in Tyrol. We're surrounded by way of the most pleasing mountain scenery, and the machine creation is in Bavaria, Germany. I always say that so individuals understand where this is,  our glassmakers all put on lederhosen and they all know how to yodel, which is absolutely now not authentic. It's always a nice little story that i like to share. Glassmaking is a history that dates lower back 4,000 years within the making. The uncooked substances in four,000 years have changed very little. the key ingredient is quartz sand, and the optimal source is in Bavaria, Germany. That's why we and additionally our largest rivals are all in a village, as a result of here' s where the raw cloth comes from. here is one of the crucial key parts. We soften this mixture of different ingredients, and overnight, we produce glass. With many skilled glassmakers, we will in fact produce our exceptional wine glasses. On the desktop, we use the identical ingredients, however we soften a bigger extent, and we've machines doing the identical job as a glassmaker right here in Austria.

Z: How a whole lot time does it take to make an individual glass? I'm certain that varies reckoning on the form. How lengthy does it take a talented glassblower to make a pitcher?

M: well, glassmaking is a group effort. It's a type of few jobs where, in case you do it manually, you want a team. The crew should work collectively, entwined, and they rely on each and every other. When somebody must have a espresso break, the entire production comes to a standstill. It's a group of three to 5 americans, and each grownup has a really big a part of the job to create a pitcher. It's no longer finished by using simply shaping it. You must get rid of it from the glass maker's pipe and put it into an oven. An oven that is set 30 meters lengthy because that's the time that it takes to chill off. in case you cool glass too quickly, it is going to explode and shatter into small pieces as a result of there's too an awful lot anxiety within the glass. You need this aligning oven where you birth at a far better temperature of 300 levels Celsius and it slows down because it walks itself through this cooling oven the place you're beginning at 300 degrees Celsiu s and you end at about 60 degrees. This takes about two hours. It's a long manner, after which you must get rid of the part which changed into connecting the glass to the glassmaker's pipe, which is a different grownup. Then, you have to hearth-polish the rim. It's a procedure. it is truly a manufacturing process. I believe that whoever likes glasses, Riedel glasses, and comes and visits us here in Kufstein where you could see and watch the whole technique, I feel the price increases, since you see what number of steps are worried.

Z: With any guide procedure like that, does the outstanding consistency and uniformity of the glassware, is that since the people making the glassware are very experienced and expert? How do you ensure that form of consistency and uniformity? With an individual glass, we can respect whatever thing that's entertaining. I think about that if in case you have a business, you want them to all be the equal or very close to the same.

M: Our wine glasses are pleasant-tuned gadgets. If there is a difference from one to the subsequent, our philosophy would now not work. That's the explanation why the glassmaker blows the bowl in a shape that is pre-directed by using the molds. We're blowing it right into a mould, guaranteeing that something comes out on the end of the production is an identical. Of route, it's handmade. It will not be one hundred percent the equal, nevertheless it is a similar. That's distinct from our decanters, which are free-shaped. each piece is a bit particular person. they all seem to be and consider alike. but when you place them side via facet, there's a difference. This need to now not occur with our wine glasses.

Z: One component that's very interesting to me, and i would love your recommendations on, is through the years, Riedel has added a number of several types of glassware — I'm bound both laptop- manufactured and hand-blown — to the product line. How do you increase new glassware? i know you've brought some cocktail glasses and that i think beer glasses, also. How does that new product development take place?

M: well, firstly, it's a family company. sure, we have over a thousand personnel. yes, we produce 60 million glasses a year. we are a household enterprise in the 11th era, so we have under no circumstances employed a fashion designer. decent for us, form follows characteristic. This became begun by way of my grandfather, Professor Klaus Riedel. You want the ardour and love for wine. in case you don't have it, you cannot become a wine glassmaker. You deserve to take into account the different types of beverages being a wine, spirit, a beer, or even Coca-Cola, a coffee. those are glasses that we now have developed. here's where you deserve to have the skills of the beverage first, before that you may shape the glass in opposition t or create a design against the functionality. We under no circumstances do this ourselves. We design it, we enhance it, we blow it. sure, we do that part. as an example, at Riedel, all the wine glasses are grape varietal-specific. Let's speak a coup le of grape. You're in Seattle, Wash. you make alluring Cabernet, you are making striking Pinot Noir. We're speakme about a selected form. annually, you have got a Pinot Noir pageant. That motivated us to work with Washington wine producers, led by means of French families, to return ahead with a Pinot Noir glass, which is definitely designed to boost New World Pinot Noir, Oregon Pinot Noir. along with the winemakers, we shaped the glass. It became now not a process of designing and being artsy artful. No, we had present glasses for Pinot Noir. We had samples of Oregon Pinot Noir, as an example. And with these samples, we developed some prototypes, which we took all of the solution to the West Coast. We took them to Oregon, and many native wine producers participated with their own wines. We did a workshop, a Riedel workshop, where we poured their wine into the distinct-shaped Riedel glasses. We have been sea rching inside what we had produced, the two or three glasses the place the individual winemakers agreed. This one shows the fruit surest, this one the acidity, this one the minerality. The assignment was to come forward with present shapes which we took back domestic, out of which we created extra prototypes where we said, "ok, this one highlighted the fruit, this one the perfume, the minerality, the acidity." We got here forward with one more collection of prototypes. once more, we knocked on the doors of the winemakers, which they fortunately opened as a result of they noticed within the glass the messenger of the wine. With them, we finalized the procedure unless all the winemakers agreed on one shape, the place they all pointed out, "My wine shows optimal during this glass." It's a process, it's a construction, it's a partnership. It's a friendship between Riedel and the winemakers wherein they see our glass as the stage on which the wine can display.

Z: I'm curious. i know once I reached out to set up this interview, probably the most newer products that you've got unveiled is the Winewings glasses. We'll include a hyperlink in the exhibit description for people who wish to take a look at the assortment and remember it. i would be basically curious to get your options on how that certain line changed into developed as well, as a result of they're a bit diverse stylistically than the other Riedel glasses.

M: With pleasure. Riedel Winewings is brand new. Riedel Winewings is whatever that my father produced via himself, meaning he had the design idea, he had the vision, and he created it in accordance with existing shapes. certainly, the work that become performed just before craft the Pinot Noir, the Cabernet glass, was now not misplaced. here is at all times the basic ingredient for us that we make the most of to advance anything new. What Winewings has, in evaluation to all of the different latest Riedel glasses, is that it has a flat backside, which we first all started internally. We created prototypes. We served chums and family in those glasses, and we discovered what the reaction become. as a result of once we develop something new, it need to sustain with the existing or be even superior. here is the effect, which is Riedel Winewings.

Z: At this element, i do know you've got a couple of different glasses for distinctive kinds. Is the intention to have the equal breadth of choices as you do with the usual-shaped glass?

M: smartly, the americans are hungry for newness. It starts with the retailer. The retailer all the time knocks on the door of the brand and says, "anything new?" as a result of they wish to excite their purchasers. here's now not only new, that means a brand new shape of what's current. It's an additional development, and very vital to remember is the world of wine. in case you know the area of wine and you are attempting to consider it, you recognize that every person talks about international warming. world warming, in definite areas, has a positive have an impact on, trust it or no longer, in areas where wine-turning out to be has a tradition. With the brief ripening system, the wines had been on no account up to international necessities, like in Austria and in most japanese international locations. On the West Coast, you have got a problem with it since you should contend with it. you have got too a good deal solar, too an awful lot sun publicity. you have loads of fru it that has a sunburn and all these types of things, which the winemaker can impact. nowadays, every person is looking for organic wine, so the influence is terribly little of what we can do. The fruit is uncovered to energy, which is sunlight. So the wines are very concentrated, which is respectable. i like those concentrated fruit-ahead wines with a bit bit of a side influence, which is high in alcohol. i do know wines from Napa Valley courting lower back to the '70s and '80s. I wasn't born then, but I'm ingesting these wines, and i become becoming up with these wines on account that my family unit is awfully close to the Mondavi family unit. The wines of those days from Napa Valley had someplace between 11 and a half to a highest of 13 percent of alcohol. this present day, you've got them up to fifteen p.c alcohol. Alcohol in wine is like fat in meat. It's nothing unhealthy. It adds some flavor. It's a flavor enhancer, but it surely is an argument that americans need to deal with. My element is: because of these huge fruit-ahead wines, our glasses had to change. They had to grow with the wine trade. They grew, unluckily additionally in dimension, which lots of buyers omit. They blame us for these large glasses, however those up to date wines want these bigger glasses to shine. they all ought to be aerated. These wines are immortals. they can surpass from generation to era. We want to have wines that are able to drink. The only approach to get these wines to open up is by aerating them in a pleasant decanter and serving them in a big wine glass.

Z: I even have a couple extra questions for you. for many of our listeners who have Riedel glassware at home, there can be a different reply counting on what they have got. to your journey, what's the highest quality means for the commonplace domestic buyer to take care of their glassware? I believe for lots of people — even for me individually — a few of my glassware that i really like most dearly had been wedding presents. i used to be very proud to get them. I'm always a bit bit afraid to make use of them as a result of I'm involved about breaking them or involved about cleaning them. Do you have guidance for taking care of the glassware? past the obvious of "don't drop it." different issues that individuals can take some information from.

M: absolutely. I actually have many advisors as a result of individuals believe I reside off damaged glasses. It basically makes me very unhappy when one in all my children breaks. Rule No. 1: storage. Let's say with a marriage gift, you acquired eight glasses of one certain kind, but it surely's handiest both of you at home, so that you at all times use the equal glasses. You under no circumstances believe of rotating your glassware, which is awfully dangerous. as a result of the place you save them, you can have an affect. Let's say you have got a cupboard this is new and it nevertheless smells like lacquer, colour lacquer. this can have a major impact on your glasses. The glasses delivery to adopt the smell and create this stink, but also the lacquer steams, and this steaming — primarily when you have a temperature alternate as a result of the seasons of the year. the hotter it receives, the greater the cupboard begins to steam, the glasses take in this and the glass fl oor is very porous like your epidermis. They undertake this, and the glasses get stupid and that they lose their brilliance. And people blame the glassmaker. It's now not my fault. It's the style you save your glasses. So rule No. 1 is where you keep them. Rotate your glasses. Don't all the time use the equal. additionally, reach out to those in the lower back of the kitchen cabinet, rule No. 1. Rule No. 2, a Riedel wine glass is a workhorse. It turned into developed that you should have daily efficiency. You pour your wine and you drink it. you have got a Chardonnay and you put it in the Chardonnay glass. if in case you have a Pinot Noir and many greater, depending on what sorts of wine you love. i like Chardonnay. i admire Cabernet. i love Pinot. these are the three glasses i'd have at domestic. I rotate as a result of I prepare dinner in a different way. I actually have pals that are coming. i do know they like white wine, so I serve my Chardonnay. it's essential to take in to account that you have assorted glasses at domestic and on the grounds that the Riedel glass is a workhorse, you should definitely treat it like this. Put the Riedel glass within the dishwasher. Don't damage your self after a nice evening. possibly you had a tumbler too many making an attempt to force it into your sink and smash it and injure yourself. Don't do that, there's no want. When the Riedel glass is in the dishwasher and also you wash it more than 1000 instances, yes, it could possibly have scratches. sure, it could lose its brilliance over time. It's erosion. It's very standard. That happens. Throw them away and change them with some new ones. It's a workhorse. Now comes the query, "I have another brands at home" or "I have a Riedel handmade glass at home." Riedel sommelier's handmade — a tumbler that charges $a hundred-plus. you have got some Waterford at home with appealing decorations. you have got some Baccarat at domestic with some color. No, do not put those into the dishwasher. The colour can wash off. The glass is a whole lot thicker. anxiety can delivery in the glass since it's a hot dishwasher. you have got a groovy glass. and the thicker the glass, the extra tension breakage can take place. Handmade glasses, I imply that you simply wash by way of hand. desktop-made glasses, wine glasses from Riedel, that you would be able to put into the dishwasher.

Z: this is my very own own struggle, what about cleansing a decanter? That's the one I even have essentially the most quandary with.

M: well, if it's a Riedel decanter, and it can be appealing, they can be fancy, but additionally very practical. The ideal method to wash them is, if the sink is large enough, put it into the sink. otherwise, take it into the tub. That's no longer a comic story. I want each person who listens to make use of your decanter each day, as a result of every wine deserves this "wow event" of decanting it. We decant historical wine to cut up wine from its sediment. We aerate younger wines. first rate for them to awaken and mature all the way through the system of drinking it and enjoying it. red wine, white wine, rosé wine, sparkling wine. All of this will also be decanted. Of path, you must have distinctive strategies. glowing wine or Champagne, i might under no cir cumstances decant speedy. i'd do it slowly. also, younger Champagne can improvement from that. Prosecco, don't decant. There's no benefit since you will lose the bubbles that are artificially delivered to the wine. i'd no longer do it. although, with Champagne, the system of Champenoise, which you can definitely decant it.

Z: smartly, the tub idea is a very good one. I've never idea about that.

M: Zach, what I indicate is that people are always complaining about red wine stains. After a pleasant meal, rinse the decanter as soon as with warm water, fill it with warm water, and let it sit in a single day. heat water has an have an impact on. it is going to take in all the color pixels which are left within the decanter. even though you rinsed it once or twice, let it sit down with warm water. the next day, empty it. Soak the outside. There's no deserve to put soap into the decanter. You run the chance of having some leftovers. cleaning soap and wine does not go well together, so I don't recommend that. So soak the outside because you had greasy fingers, and so forth. The interior, after rinsing it a couple of instances, you should be first-class. Wine is cleaner than water. Let's no longer forget that. It has been filtered, and so on. You recognize the manner. There's nothing it really is unhealthy in a decanter after rinsing it with some water.

Z: awesome. thank you so a whole lot in your time. definitely fascinating to hear a bit bit greater about how these ubiquitous glasses in the wine business are made and appear forward to seeing the persisted building and specialization of the glassware. It's a bit early within the morning right here. i might say i'd be ingesting a tumbler of wine, however's the morning right here in Seattle, so I had my coffee. i will get round to a tumbler of wine and a Riedel glass tonight, and that i will think about this conversation. thanks so tons.

M: thanks so an awful lot, Zach. thank you for taking the time and for letting me communicate concerning the superb world of wine and obviously the loudspeaker, the Riedel glass. Cheers.

Thanks so lots for taking note of the "VinePair Podcast." if you love this demonstrate as tons as we love making it, then please go away us a score on review on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or some thing it's you get your podcasts. It definitely helps all and sundry else discover the exhibit.

Now, for the credits, VinePair is produced and recorded in ny metropolis and Seattle, Wash., on my own and Zach Geballe, who does all of the modifying and likes to get the credit. additionally, i'd like to supply a special shoutout to my VinePair co-founder, Josh Malin, for helping make all this feasible, and additionally to Keith Beavers, VinePair's tasting director, who is moreover a producer on the display. I also need to, of route, thank every other member of the VinePair crew who's instrumental in the entire concepts that go into making the reveal a week. Thanks so a great deal for listening, and we'll see you once more.

posted: March 22, 2021

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