The origin of the Austrian glass company based in Kufstein (Tyrol) lies in the Jizera Mountains (Northern Bohemia), where the industrialist Josef Riedel (1816-1894) was in possession of numerous glassworks and was referred to as the "Glass King of the Jizera Mountains". His son Josef Anton Riedel (1862-1924) and grandson Walter Riedel (1895-1974) continued to expand the business. The family was expropriated in 1945/1946 during the expulsion of Germans from Czechoslovakia. With the financial help of the Swarovsk family (fabrication cut gemstones) in 1954 Claus Josef Riedel (1925-2004) got the chance to take over the Tyrolean glassworks from bankruptcy. His father Walter came back from captivity a year later. In 1956, the glass production in Kufstein was recorded under the name Riedel-Glas.
Today, the company is run in the 10th and 11th generation by Georg Josef Riedel and his son Maximilian. In 2004, Riedel acquired 100% of the shares of FX Nachtmann Bleikristall GmbH (the plant was closed in 2009) and with it the direct competitor Spiegelau. The brands Riedel, Nachtmann and Spiegelau operate under the name "Riedel Glass Works". Since December 2004, Maximilian J. Riedel has been CEO of the Riedel subsidiary "Riedel Crystal of America". The US is now the largest export market.
Claus Josef Riedel was the first to recognize the great influence of the glass form on perception. That the same wine from different glasses smells and tastes different. Georg Riedel developed from this the realization that "the content conditions the form" and the varietal according to different shape and size of the wine glasses demands in which Aroma and bouquet the wine to its best advantage. The development work of two generations forms the basis of the glass lines. The company's signature "Riedel" is engraved on the glass base, a point later indicating that it is second-choice glass. The most important glass lines are:
Basic: Basic equipment with three types (white wine, red wine and sparkling wine).
Overture: entry-level series with eight types.
Sommelier: In 1973, Claus Riedel, in collaboration with the Italian Sommelier Association (ASI), presented the world's first gourmet glass series in Orvieto. It consists of 31 types and is the most successful handmade glass series in the world. She also has an honorable place in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Vinum: In 1986, the first machine glass series in history was developed. It includes 20 types.
Wine: In 1999, this machine-blown glass was introduced to those customers who did not appreciate the smooth glass on the table setting. The series includes eight types.