Maximilian Josef Riedel (born in Vienna, Austria on September 13, 1977) is an Austrian glassmaker and businessman. He is the 11th-generation CEO and President of Riedel (glass manufacturer), a glassware manufacturer established in 1756 and best known for its production of grape variety-specific glassware designed to enhance types of wines based on specific properties of individual grape varieties. Riedel is best known for designing the world’s first variety-specific stemless wine glasses (the Riedel “O” Series) in 2004, expanding the company to international markets and developing double-decanting technology, which achieves hours of decanting in a matter of minutes.
Maximilian Josef Riedel was born in 1977 to Georg Riedel and Eva Riedel in Vienna, Austria, 400 km from Riedel Crystal headquarters in Kufstein, Austria. He has an older sister named Laetizia Riedel-Rothlisberger.
In 1995, at age 18, Maximilian Riedel served eight months in the Austria Bundesheer where he was involved in humanitarian work. At 18 he also began apprenticing his father Georg Riedel at Riedel Crystal, who had learned glassmaking and the family business from his father, Claus J Riedel, the first to discover that the shape, size and color of glassware affect how we enjoy wine, and developer of the world’s first-ever variety-specific glasses in 1958. He trained in sales and administration.
In 1997, at age 20, Maximilian Riedel joined Riedel Crystal and was in charge of development and finance while also working in the company’s advertising office.
In the late 1990s, Maximilian Riedel introduced Riedel Crystal to the Dubai market, and spent two years in Paris at Riedel’s French importer, Ercuis, where he managed sales and conducted Riedel comparative glassware tastings. While there he also researched how he could help build the brand and increase sales.
In 2000, at the age of 23, Riedel moved to the United States to become the Executive Vice President of Riedel Crystal’s North American branch. In 2002, at age 25, Maximilian Riedel became CEO of Riedel Crystal of North America. In his time as CEO of Riedel Crystal of North America, he was able to quadruple the company’s sales in the United States and Canada while also making the continent Riedel’s largest export market. Maximilian Riedel assisted in the company’s growth by creating partnerships with Celebrity Cruises, Lindt, and Miele,which introduced the brand to new consumer segments.
In 2004, Riedel Crystal bought the German-based F.X. Nachtmann, which included both the Nachtmann decorative and wine glassware brand and the Spiegelau beer and wine glassware brand, and in 2005, Maximilian Riedel launched Nachtmann’s crystal giftware in the U.S. market. In 2007, he successfully reinvigorated Nachtmann through collaboration with leading international design schools as part of the NexGen student design competition. Through this program, Maximilian Riedel challenges design students to reimagine Nachtmann’s aesthetic in their own vision, guiding their product development as mentor, and awarding one student the opportunity to bring his concept to market.Since 2007, the NexGen program has partnered with Parsons The New School for Design in New York (2008), the Pratt Institute in New York (2010), Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm (2011), the Musashino Art University in Tokyo (2013), and the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (2014). In October 2012, Maximilian Riedel was honored by the Pratt Institute as a Pratt Legend for his continued work with design students.
In July 2013, former Riedel Crystal CEO Georg Riedel handed over management of Riedel Crystal and its worldwide subsidiaries to Maximilian Riedel, naming him company President and CEO. Today, Riedel Crystal is managed jointly by the two, who travel the world to educate over 20,000 people annually on variety-specific stemware.
Married to Brazilian Rosana, he had a son Franz Joseph in 2015 (see Financial Times "How to Spend it" magazine, 5–6 December 2015).
- 2004: Developed the first variety-specific stemless wine glasses as part of his “O” Series. Riedel was inspired to create the series while pressed for cabinet space while living in a New York City apartment. His intent was to design variety-specific wine glasses that were space efficient and stackable. The “O” Series has become Riedel Crystal’s most successful new collection in the company’s history. Today, the “O” collection has grown to include seventeen glass designs including six variety-specific wine glass shapes, sparkling wine, spirits, water, Coca-Cola, and martini cocktails. In 2006, the Corning Museum of Glass selected the “O” Chardonnay glass for its permanent collection and in 2011, the same glass was prominently featured in “How Wine Became Modern,”an exhibition on the impact of design on the wine culture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
- 2008: Developed the “double-decanting” technology, which achieves hours of decanting in a matter of minutes. Maximilian Riedel included this technology in many of his decanter designs, including the Eve, a cobra-inspired decanter that started the “double-decanting” trend.
- 2011: Developed the Riedel Restaurant and Restaurant Sommeliers Series, which provide the company’s glassware at lower cost and greater durability to restaurants and hotels.
Glassware Design Timeline
- (2004) “O” Series
- (2011) Riedel Restaurant
- (2011) Key to Wine
- (2014) Big “O”
Decanter Design Timeline
- (2003) Cornetto
- (2006) “O” Single
- (2008) Eve
- (2011) Mamba
- (2012) Cobra Verde
- (2013) Boa
- (2014) Apple and Big Apple
- (2014) Titano Boa
- (2014) Horse
- 2005: Good Design Award (Chicago), “O” Thumbs Up Decanter, Chicago Athenaeum
- 2005: Good Design Award (Chicago), “O” Stemless Tasting Glass, Chicago Athenaeum
- 2006: Special guest of Honor, High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction
- 2006: Tastemaker, House & Garden (magazine)
- 2007: Entronisation at the Fête de La Fleur Vin Expo
- 2007: Appreciation Award Orange County Wine Society
- 2008: Good Design Award (Chicago), Swan Decanter
- 2008: Corporate Leadership Award, Living Beyond Breast Cancer
- 2009: Red Dot Design Award, Swan Decanter
- 2011: Good Design Award (Chicago), Mamba Decanter
- 2011: Grand Prix Table & Gift awards for Design, Innovation & Technicality, Mamba Decanter, Maison & Objet, Paris
- 2011: Wine Enthusiast Wine Star Special Award for Generations of Innovation
- 2012: Pratt Institute Legacy Award
Since coming to the United States, Maximilian has been profiled in publications such as Food & Wine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Television, Traditional Home, The Miami Herald, Business 2.0, House & Garden (magazine), Fortune (magazine), Worth (magazine), among others. In 2004, Maximilian was featured on the cover of Wine Enthusiast Magazine for an article about his role in the family business.
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- "CRYSTAL INTRODUCES CURLY DECANTER FOR SPRING 2013 PLAYFUL PIG-INSPIRED DESIGN JOINS RIEDEL'S "GLASSWARE MENAGERIE"". RIEDEL. 2013-03-11. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
- "Heir apprent takes charge at Riedel, high-end Austrian wine glass maker selling thrpugh Tiffany & Co., Macy's, Bloomingdales, and Williams & Sonoma. - Penta Daily - Barrons.com". Blogs.barrons.com. 2008-12-16. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
- "Maximilian J Riedel Named Pratt Institute Legend". Prnewswire.com. 2013-02-19. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
- "Maximilian J. Riedel Named President Of Riedel Crystal". Prnewswire.com. 2012-10-17. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
- Sarah Adler (2011-01-01). "Maximilian Riedel tours SFMOMA exhibition on wine - San Francisco Chronicle". Sfchronicle.com. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
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- "Wine". Decanter.com. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
- Enthusiast, Wine (2011-11-01). "2011 Wine Star Award Winners | Wine Enthusiast Magazine". Winemag.com. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
- Amy Cortes (2007-09-16). "This Glass Is for the Cabernet, That One the Pinot Noir". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
- "Breaking News, Sports, Weather & More | MiamiHerald.com & Miami Herald". Miamiherald.com. Retrieved 2017-02-27.