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World-renowned glass maker brings message to Niagara's wine country

Post Time:Sep 19,2008Classify:Company NewsView:509

For some people, a wine glass is just a glass.

To Maximilian Riedel, an 11th-generation glass maker, it’s a tool to bring out the depth of a wine.

The Riedel family’s Austria-based company, which is the third-largest glassmaker in the world, specializes in designing crystal glasses suited to specific grape varieties.

A great glass is a messenger, Reidel said during a morning visit at Inniskillin Wines in Niagara-on-the-Lake Thursday.

“I’m not sampling the glass. I’m sampling the wine. I realize the wine would not be the wine I had in my glass if the glass were not the perfect messenger.”

More than a decade ago, Maximilian’s father, Georg, partnered with Inniskillin Wines co-founders Donald Ziraldo and Karl Kaiser to design a glass specifically for the Canadian wine industry’s crown jewel: icewine.

On Wednesday, the 31-year-old CEO of Riedel Crystal of America sipped a 2007 Riesling icewine from the glass his dad created in a room dedicated to his family at a winery known internationally for its sweet winter wine.

The Riedel room is a special event tasting area located in Inniskillin’s Founders’ Hall, featuring a table made of scarred wood from the glassmaker’s Austrian plant.

Riedel, whose family has been making glassware since 1756, said he never tires of tasting a wine out of crystal crafted to bring out its best.

“You can sell a wine glass based on esthetics,” said Riedel, who created the company’s successful “O” line, a series of original stemless wine glasses launched in 2004.

“People will not understand it’s actually a tool being introduced to them or they are just keen on figuring out themselves what is behind the Riedel brand pouring wine from one glass into the other.

“As soon as somebody teaches you, tells you the story behind the product you never use something else again.”

Riedel has 12 lines of glassware and sells more than 100 styles in a range of quality and prices.

In recent years, the company has tailored glasses for Pinot Noir in Oregon to a Shiraz glass for Penfolds Wine in Australia.

More large wineries and wine corporations are requesting their own glasses for their own wines, Reidel said.

“They have their own power and size and they would like their own messenger designed by Riedel.”

Riedel Glas Austria also owns glass companies Nachtmann and Spiegelau.

Debi Pratt, a spokeswoman for Inniskillin, said the winery waited for a visit from either Georg or Maximilian to officially launch its Riedel room.

Source: www.stcatharinesstandard.caAuthor: shangyi

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