History of the


11 generations

The RIEDEL FAMILY has been in the glass business for 300 years, with 11 generations keeping the family business intact.

RIEDEL Crystal is a 300 year-old family owned company known for the creation and development of varietal-specific stemware. RIEDEL Crystal was the first in history to recognize that the taste and aroma of a beverage is affected by the shape of the vessel from which it is consumed, and has been recognized for its revolutionary designs complementing alcoholic beverages and other drinks.

Founded in 1756 and pioneering varietal-specific stemware since 1958, RIEDEL has become the brand of choice for wine connoisseurs and drink specialists, hospitality professionals and consumers globally.

Maximilian Riedel
Maximilian J. Riedel, 11th generation CEO of Riedel, manages the Austrian glassware company based in Kufstein. He is also the multiple award winning head designer of the glassware company’s decanters.

Maximilian J. Riedel

CEO of Riedel

When he was just 12 years old, Maximilian Riedel learned the family’s traditional craft from his father, Georg J. Riedel. This training gave him the necessary insight into glassblowing and the know-how required to manage an international company. At the age of 18, he decided to pursue a career in the company instead of taking the conventional route of studying abroad. 

After completing his training at the Riedel headquarters in Austria, he introduced the brand to the Dubai market and then spent time at the French Riedel importer Ercuis in Paris, where he gained experience and knowledge that would benefit his own company. At the age of 23, he became the vice president of Riedel Crystal of America. As CEO of Riedel Crystal of America he more than quadrupled the company’s sales figures in the US and Canada over the years, making North America the largest export market for Riedel.

Maximilian recognised the significance of an online presence at a very early stage and, by initiating the Riedel webstore, created the enterprise’s first online shop. Social media are also an important part of Riedel’s marketing. They allow Maximilian to be in touch with consumers on a regular basis. Maximilian has been at the helm of Tiroler Glashütte and its international subsidiaries since 1 July 2013. 

Generation change

On 1 July 2013, Georg J. Riedel handed over the management of Tiroler Glashütte and its worldwide subsidiaries to his son, Maximilian J., thereby passing it on to the 11th generation.

“When I took over, I put all my optimism and drive into continuing Riedel’s success story.
Maximilian J. Riedel (11th generation)
The Legacy of Georg Josef Riedel

Georg J. Riedel

Georg Riedel (10th generation, born 1949) joined the family business in 1973 as the company's accountant. At an early stage, he became passionate about wine and how glass shapes profoundly influence the perception of wine’s aromas and flavors. Gifted with fine senses and supported with strong commercial talents, he quickly took over the company's direction, developing varietal specific glassware.

At the same time, a New World wine boom created new demand and highlighted new wines of classic varietals grown on foreign soils. With the launch of Riedel's first machine made line, VINUM, the perfect wine glass at a popular price level, built the foundation for a solid future for the company.

Georg opened his first subsidiary (as importer and distributor) in the USA in 1979 and, since then, eight more have opened around the globe including, China, Japan and Australia. He was the first to approach wine distributors to represent the Riedel brand, which grew the company's presence around the world to over 100 countries. As a shrewd businessman, in 2004, without bank loans and using accumulated company cash, Riedel acquired the then much larger glass companies Nachtmann and Spiegelau. With this take-over came the opportunity for Riedel to produce all glasses in the company's own factories.

Georg was fortunate to lift “his Riedel glasses“ onto the tables of the wine world. Under his leadership, Riedel became the world‘s leading wine glass company.
The Legacy of Claus Josef Riedel

Claus J. Riedel

(1925– 2004)

The 9TH GENERATION, Claus J. Riedel (1925– 2004) had a vision. He changed stemware from  traditional colored and cut glass to plain,  unadorned, thin blown, long stemmed wine glasses. He gained immediate recognition from sophisticated customers and museums. The many design awards signaled that a new era had begun. Museums bought pieces for their exhibitions, like the MOMA in New York, which today still has Riedel in their permanent collection. Based on his unique designs, Claus J. Riedel was the first person in history ever to recognize the effect of shapes on the perception of alcoholic beverages. His work has influenced and changed the appearance of stemware forever. His masterpiece, “Sommeliers“, was introduced in Orvieto nearly 40 years ago, the first ever stemware line to be based on the character of wine.

The Legacy of Walter Josef Riedel

Walter Riedel


The 8TH GENERATION, Walter Riedel (1895–1974) suffered through two World Wars, which had a great impact on his destiny. He was forced to change his citizenship four times due to unfortunate political state of affairs. In 1918, Bohemia became part of the Czech Republic, with Walter Riedel and the German speaking Sudeten becoming Czech citizens. Around 1930 the political and economic conflict between the Sudeten and the Czechs turned violent, leading to the occupation of Czechoslovakia by the Nazi regime in 1938. At this time 70% of the total Czech glass production was dominated by the Sudeten. In this time the Riedels emerged to the world as a leading manufacturer of perfume flacons and color overlaid gift items, chandeliers and chandelier parts. Walter Riedel inherited the mechanical genius of his father, developing extremely advanced mold techniques. Those products were then refined by cutting, being mounted onto metal and then wired for electricity. The war and the Nazis forced the industry to change from luxury goods to strategic war products. Walter Riedel and part of this team worked on picture tubes, part of the radar used for monitoring airspace. This was a unique technological achievement for that time, with Walter increasing the available diameter of the tube from 38 cm to 76 cm.

This invention became his destiny. When the Russian army conquered Berlin in 1945, they found an intact tube and were very eager to locate the scientist. In this era of Stalin, they forced Walter Riedel to sign a five year work contract and held him prisoner in Russia for 10 years. By the end of the Second World War in 1945, the Riedels’ property and companies were confiscated and nationalized by the Czechs. The Riedels lost their home.

Walter Riedel moved to Austria in 1955. The Swarovskis, with whom the Riedels were very friendly, hosted Walter Riedel and offered him and his son, Claus J. Riedel, a new start in Kufstein, Austria, by reopening a glass factory, specializing in hand-made items, in 1956.


The Riedel story begins...

...in 1678 in the northern part of Bohemia – bordering Schlesia – today the Czech republic and Poland respectively. This part of Bohemia was a German speaking enclave known as the Sudetenland. The Venetians brought back the knowledge of glass making from the Near East around 1000 A.D. The knowledge of producing glass spread slowly towards the northern part of Europe, searching for energy, critical to the melting of glass. Wood was the source, causing a glassmaker migration to the forests. Due to this migration, a glass culture developed in Bohemia in the 17th century.

7th Generation - Josef Riedel, the Younger

Josef The Younger


The 7TH GENERATION, Josef The Younger (1862–1924) was an outstanding chemist and mechanical engineer, creating a remarkable portfolio of 600 different glass colors. This sophisticated variety of colors set him apart from his competitors and enabled his business to develop further, unaffected by the Great War. Due to his development of new machinery, he specialized in the mass production of glass beads, which were used for jewelry and in combination with fabrics. In his cutting departments, he refined blanks with overlays of silver, gold, and color according to the  fashion of the time. After 1890 he started to sign them with the Riedel logo, which was brought into use again in1996.

6th Generation - Josef Riedel, the Elder

Josef Riedel, The Elder


Josef Riedel, The Elder, 6TH GENERATION (1816–1894) had great gifts, and the fact that that he was born in the time of the industrial revolution proved to be very much in his favor. He left the romantic traditional production places in the Bohemian forests where the glass was melted using furnaces heated by wood and settled in Poland. When the railway came in 1877, he imported coal, which was less expensive and more efficient than wood. The railway assured that the enormous amount of goods produced could travel quickly and safely to his customers. Josef employed 1,200 people at this time. His main production was colored glass beads and blanks (glass not shaped into finished form), which were cut and polished in small family workshops. The goods were  ordered and sold through trading companies, reaching as far as India and South America. Distribution through the trading companies had a distinct disadvantage: the Rie-del name never became a brand in the 19th century as the trading companies sold the goods under their own names.

5th Generation - Franz Xaver Riedel

Franz Xaver


Franz Xaver, 5TH GENERATION (1786–
1844) became a famous engraver in his youth. He signed his works of art, which are available at auctions even today. He later became an important entrepreneur, enjoying European demand for his goods. His main success derived from his addition of unknown colors to glass, using Uranium to produce the fluorescent colors, yellow and green, known in the literature as “Annagelb” and “Annagrün”, which he named after his daughter. Franz called upon his nephew Josef Riedel at the age of 14 to work in his company. Josef Riedel The Elder turned out to be an extremely talented person, becoming his uncle’s assistant and ulti-mately inheriting the company.

4th Generation - Anton Leopold Riedel

Anton Leopold


The next generation, Anton Leopold, 4TH GENERATION (1761–1821) radically changed his father’s production from window panes to pure luxury goods such as chandelier parts and ornate glassware.

3rd Generation - Johann Leopold Riedel

Johann Leopold Riedel


Johann Leopold Riedel, 3RD GENERATION (1726–1800), made his fortune in the Seven Years’ War (1756–1763) fought between the Austrians and the Prussians over Bohemia and Schlesia. The demand for window panes needed for rebuilding the surrounding cities and villages destroyed during the war provided Johann the chance to found his first glass factory, which he opened on May 17, 1756. His  success was based on his invention of a technique that substituted stained glass windows with window panes.

2nd Generation - Johann Carl Riedel

Johann Carl


Johann Carl, 2ND GENERATION (1701–1781) was a gilder and glasscutter. He operated his own workshop refining glassware.

1st Generation - Johann Christoph Riedel

Christoph Riedel

born in 1678

The FIRST RIEDEL in the trade of luxury glass goods was Johann Christoph Riedel, born in 1678. He journeyed all over Europe   tra-ding glass, traveling as far as Spain and Portugal. The earnings from the business justified the arduous and dangerous travel. 




17th Century


Christoph Riedel (1st Generation) is born in the Skalitz near Böhmisch Leipa.

18th Century


Johann Karl Riedel (2nd Generation) is born.


Christoph Riedel dies.


Johann Leopold Riedel (3rd Generation) is born in Falkenau.


Johann Karl Riedel builds a house in Falkenau.


Johann Karl Riedel appointed Magistrate in Falkenau.


Johann Leopold Riedel becomes a clerk at J.J.Kittel glassworks in Falkenau.


Kittel rents the Antonithal glassworks in the Iser Mountains and entrusts its management to Johann Leopold Riedel.


Johann Leopold Riedel takes over the glassworks lease from Kittel Johann Karl Riedel follows his son to Antonithal.


Johann Leopold Riedel leases Antonithal glassworks directly from the landowners.


Johann Leopold Riedel leases the Karl foundry.


Anton Leopold Riedel (4th Generation) is born in Antonithal.


Johann Leopold Riedel leases the glassworks in Neuwiese.


Franz Anton Riedel (Johann Leopold’s brother) buys the glassworks in Neuwiese and Friedrichswald.


Johann Leopold Riedel terminates his lease at Antonithal and Karl.


Johann Leopold Riedel builds a glass factory Christiansthal.


Franz Anton Riedel dies.


Johann Karl Riedel dies.


Johann Leopold Riedel purchases the Neuwiese glassworks for his son Anton Leopold Riedel.


Franz Riedel (5th Generation) is born in Neuwiese.


Josef Riedel (5th Generation) is born in Neuwiese.


Johann Leopold Riedel hands down his two glassworks to his sons: Neuwiese to Anton Leopold Riedel and Christiansthal to Karl Josef Riedel


Johann Leopold Riedel dies.

19th Century


Anton Leopold Riedel establishes a glass refinery in Mistrowitz (Haida) for his sons Franz Riedel and Josef Riedel.


The Mistrovitz refinery is shut down.


Anton Leopold Riedel Glassworks leases glassworks in Antonithal.


Josef Riedel (6th Generation) is born to Josef Riedel and Appolonia Rössler in Haindorf.


Marie Anna Riedel (6th Generation) is born to Franz Riedel and Judith Vogel in Antonithal.


Anton Leopold Riedel dies.


Franz Riedel builds glass factory in Klein Iser.


Franz Riedel receives an honourable mention for the perfect cut of his imitation gemstones and cut and polished chandelier trimmings at the Industrial Exhibition in Prague.


Josef Riedel (6th Generation) comes to work for his uncle, Franz Riedel, in the Antonithal glassworks.


Josef Riedel (6th Generation) marries his cousin Marie Anna Riedel (6th Generation).


Franz Riedel sells Neuwiese glassworks.

Franz Riedel dies.


Josef Hugo Riedel (7th Generation) is born to Josef Riedel (6th Generation) and Marie Anna Riedel (6th Generation) in Antonithal.


Josef Riedel (6th Generation) buys glassworks in Polaun.

Wilhelm Riedel (7th Generation) is born in to Josef Riedel (6th Generation) and Marie Anna Riedel (6th Generation) in Antonithal.


Otto Riedel (7th Generation) is born to Josef Riedel (6th Generation) and Marie Anna Riedel (6th Generation) in Antonithal.


Marie Anna Riedel (6th Generation) dies.


Josef Riedel (6th Generation) leaves Antonithal and settles in Polaun.

Josef Riedel (6th Generation) begins building a cotton mill in Bad Wurzelsdorf.


Josef Riedel (6th Generation) marries Johanna Neuwinger.


Josef Riedel Jr. (7th Generation) is born to Josef Riedel (6th Generation) and Johanna (Neuwinger) Riedel in Polaun.


The company “Josef Riedel” is officially registered at the Regional Court in Reichenberg.


Josef Riedel (6th Generation) builds a second glassworks in Klein Iser.


Josef Riedel (6th Generation) builds a glass factory in Bad Wurzelsdorf.


Josef Riedel (6th Generation) installs a Siemens wood gas heating system in second glassworks in Klein Iser the first of its kind in Bohemia.


Josef Riedel (6th Generation) buys brown coal  mines in Hostomitz near Teplitz, a flax spinning mill in Unter-Maxdorf, a spa in Bad Wurzelsdorf, and builds a spa bathhouse in Bad Wurzelsdorf.


One furnace in Polaun is devoted entirely to the production of luxury hollow glass.

A chemistry lab is added to the Polaun glassworks.

The Riedel Company participates in the World Exhibition in Vienna where it wins a gold medal.


Josef Riedel (6th Generation) and his sons Hugo, Wilhelm and Otto found the public company "Jos. Riedel ".


The flax mill in Unter-Maxdorf is converted into a hemp spinning mill.

Jos. Riedel builds a glassworks near the mill in Unter-Maxdorf.


Jos. Riedel patents the process of glass blown into metal molds.

The company buys a glassworks in Neudorf.


Jos. Riedel purchases the Scheffel glasworks in Josefsthal.

The first glassworks is built in Stefansruh.


Hugo Riedel dies.

A bronze foundry is set up in Stefansruh.

Jos. Riedel is one of the first companies in Bohemia to have private telephone lines installed in its factories.

Electricity is introduced at the spinning mill in Unter Maxdorf.

A glassworks in Hundorf near Teplitz is purchased.


Josef Riedel (7th Generation) becomes a shareholder in the Jos. Riedel company.

The company builds another glassworks on Stefansruh.

The Jos. Riedel head office is established in Polaun.

Jos. Riedel purchases Vinzenz Pohl’s refinery for luxury hollow glass in Harrachsdorf.


The Stefansruh glassworks builds a factory for machine-cut beads.

A glass refinery is established in Polaun.


Jos. Riedel is one of seven companies chosen to participate in the Imperial Jubilee Exhibition in Vienna, where it is awarded medals for its exhibition.

Josef Riedel (6th Generation) received the Knight's Cross of the Order of Emperor Franz Joseph I. and the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Order from the Pope.

The majority of the brown coal mines in Hostomitz are shut down.


The Polaun refinery launches the world’s first glass covers for electric lamps.

The Riedel Family Tomb is built.


A special glassworks for rounding cut beads is built at the Stefansruh glassworks.

A glass refinery is set up in Polaun.

Luxury glass begins to be sold under the Riedel trademark (post-1890).


Jos. Riedel patents its process for sealing conductive electrical metal components in glass.


The company wins a bronze medal at the Electrical Exhibition in London.

Jos. Riedel is the second company in Europe (France was first), and first in Bohemia, to start producing the incandescent glass bulb.


Jos. Riedel sells the glassworks in Hundorf near Teplitz.

Josef Riedel (7th Generation) builds his villa in Deutsch Grambach.


The company patents its waterproof glass covers for public lighting.

The Unter-Maxdorf spinning mill is converted into a cotton weaving factory.

Josef Riedel (6th Generation) dies.


The company registers the "Jos. Riedel, Unter-Polaun" trademark.

Walter Riedel (8th Generation), son of Josef Riedel (7th Generation) is born in Deutsch Grambach.


Arnold (Arno) Riedel (8th Generation), son of Josef Riedel (7th Generation) is born in Deutsch Grambach.


Jos. Riedel builds a second glass factoy in Polaun.

A third glassworks is added in Stefansruh.

The Bad Wurzelsdorf spa bathhouse is converted into a luxury hotel.

20th Century


Otto Riedel (7th Generation) dies.


The company enjoys a spectacular Czech-German Exhibition in Reichenberg, where Wilhelm Riedel (7th Generation) and Josef Riedel (7th Generation) meet Emperor Franz Joseph I.

Company establishes a fourth glassworks in Stefansruh.


Otto Riedel Jr. (8th Generation), son of Otto Riedel (7th Generation) joins the family firm as a shareholder.

Company establishes a fifth glassworks on Stefansruh.


The childless Wilhelm Riedel (7th Generation) adopts his nephews Otto Riedel (8th Generation) and Waldemar Riedel (8th Generation).


Jos. Riedel establishes a glassworks in Dessendorf.


Waldemar Riedel (8th Generation), son of Otto Riedel (7th Generation joins the family firm as a shareholder.

Wilhelm Riedel (7th Generation) retires.


Jos. Riedel purchases a glass factory in Gablonz and three glassworks in Schatzlar.


Jos. Riedel leases three glassworks in Röhrsdorf bei Zwickau (near Haida).


Johann Christoph Riedel (9th Generation), son of Walter Riedel (8th Generation) is born.


The company is awarded the Grand Prix at the international exhibition in Rio de Janeiro.

Walter Riedel (8th Generation), son Josef Riedel (7th Generation) becomes a shareholder.

Karl Heinz Riedel (9th Generation), son of Arno Riedel (8th Generation), is born.


Josef Riedel (7th Generation) dies.

Arno Riedel (8th Generation), son Josef Riedel (7th Generation) becomes a shareholder.


The company is awarded the Grand Prix at the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Paris.

Wilhelm Riedel (7th Generation) retires.

A third glassworks is built in Polaun.

Claus Josef Riedel (9th Generation), son of Walter Riedel (8th Generation), is born.


The company buys three glassworks in Röhrsdorf bei Zwickau (Haida).


Jos. Riedel wins the Grand Prix at the International Exhibition in Barcelona.

Wilhelm Riedel (7th Generation) dies.


Cotton mill in Bad Wurzelsdorf is shut down and then leased to the Naturin Company; the Riedel family maintains a capital share in the business; artificial gut is produced here.


The first electric furnace is installed in Polaun.


Otto Riedel (8th Generation) adopts his nephews, Johann Christoph Riedel (9th Generation, Claus Josef Riedel (9th Generation) – both sons of Walter Riedel (8th Generation) – and Karl Heinz Riedel (9th Generation) – son of Arno Riedel (8th Generation.

Otto Riedel (8th Generation) dies.

Waldemar Riedel (8th Generation) retires as a shareholder, keeping only the Bad Wurzelsdorf spa.


The company is led by bothers Walter and Arno Riedel (8th Generation).

The company is awarded the Grand Prix at the World Exhibition in Brussels.

Walter Riedel (8th Generation) buys the forested land in Schwarzenthal near Hohenelbe for his sons and builds a hunting lodge there.


Arno Riedel (8th Generation) buys the Krusina estate in the Carlsbad region.

Walter Riedel (8th Generation) meets Czecho-Slovak President Eduard Benes.


The company is awarded the Grand Prix at the World Exhibition in Paris.


The company sells the cotton weaving mill in Unter-Maxdorf.


The company begins to produce machine-made wound glass fiber.

The Bad Wurzelsdorf factory begins to specialize in the new glass fiber and is renamed Ahrens, Riedel & Co.


The company becomes a co-owner of their longtime business partner’s company, the Johann Umann Refinery in Deutsch Grambach.


Karl Heinz Riedel (9th Generation) dies on the battlefield in the Caucasus.

Walter Riedel establishes an experimental glass factory in Gablonz that is heated remotely by gas.


The company becomes the first in Europe to produce radar screens measuring 76 x 54 cm.


All Jos. Riedel factories are nationalized by the Czechoslovak state.

Walter and Arno Riedel (both 8th Generation) are imprisoned.

Walter Riedel was (8th Generation) is forced to move to the Soviet Union as a glass expert.


Claus Josef Riedel (9th Generation) jumps from a train carrying prisoners of war near the Austrian town of Wattens and is adopted by the Swarovski family.


Arno Riedel (8th Generation) is sentenced to 1½ years of prison by the Extraordinary People's Court in Reichenberg.


Arno Riedel’s original judgment is rescinded.

Arno Riedel’s (8th Generation) case is re-opened and this time the Extraordinary People's Court in Reichenberg sentences him to 7 years.


Georg Josef Riedel (10th Generation), son of Claus Josef Riedel (9th Generation) is born.


Arno Riedel (8th Generation) is released prematurely and emigrates to Germany.


Claus Josef Riedel (9th Generation) buys a glass factory in Kufstein.


Walter Riedel (8th Generation) joins his son in Kufstein (from the Soviet Union).


Claus Josef Riedel (9th Generation) is awarded the Grand Prix for his drinking glasses at the World Expo in Brussels.


Arno Riedel (8th Generation) dies.


Claus Josef Riedel (9th Generation) purchases a glass factory in Schneegattern.


Claus Josef Riedel (9th Generation) designs the revolutionary SOMMELIER wine glass.


Georg Josef Riedel (10th Generation) joins the company.


Walter Riedel (8th Generation) dies.


Maximilian Riedel (11th Generation), son of Georg Josef Riedel (10th Generation), is born.


The company establishes a US Office.


Georg Josef Riedel (10th Generation) designs VINUM: the first set of thin, machine-produced wine glasses in the world.


The company established a permanent sales office in the US.

21st  Century


The company buys the German glass companies Nachtmann and Spiegelau.

Maximilian Riedel (11th Generation) designs O: an innovative set of wine glasses with no stem.


Good Design Award for the design of the “O” Thumbs Up decanter, Chicago Athenaeum.


Good Design Award for the design of the “O”, Chicago Athenaeum.

Since 2006

Member of the Young Presidents’ Organization.


Red Dot Design Award for the design of the Swan decanter.


Grand Prix Table & Gift awards for Design, Innovation & Technicality, Mamba decanter, Maison & Objet, Paris. 


Wine Enthusiast, Wine Star Special Award for Generations of Innovation. 


Maximilian und Georg Riedel distinguished as Entrepreneurs of the Year by
Ernst & Young (EY).


La Revue du Vin de France lists Maximilian Riedel as the only glass manufacturer among the 200 most influential people in the world of wine.


Admittance to the Industrie-Club Düsseldorf.


European Member of the prestigious Comité Colbert.


Good Design Award for the design of the M decanter collection.


Talents Awards of Luxury and Creation Center in the Innovation category.


Good Design Award for the design of the Performance series.


Tableware International Award of Excellence in the Fine Glassware category.