Riedel to make speciality glass for Central Otago Pinot Noir
Mr Georg Riedel tastes a Central Otago Pinot Noir at the glass tasting workshop. Credit Jackie Gay, Still Vision Photography
from Central Otago Pinot Noir Ltd
March 22 2013
Global wine glass company to create speciality glass for Central Otago Pinot Noir
The head of the world’s leading wine glass company flew into Queenstown this week (w/c March 18) to consult with local winemakers and leading wine experts about producing a speciality wine glass specific for Central Otago Pinot Noir.
Georg J Riedel, chief executive of the prestigious Austrian Riedel Glass Company, toured the Central Otago wine region to gain a better appreciation of the region’s famed Pinot Noir before embarking on an intense tasting session to “find the perfect glass in which to enjoy Central Otago Pinot Noir”.
Mr Riedel, a 10th generation member of the Riedel family, led the interactive session with a select number of around 20 wine experts and local winemakers who each sampled their own vineyard’s wine in 14 different types of Riedel glasses.
He said using the right glass was ‘crucial’ when enhancing the art of drinking wine and encouraged guests to “forget about the look of the glass” and “feel the emotion of the wine".
“I asked them to concentrate on how the wine performs in the glass, how does it feel, and how does that vary from glass to glass,” he said.
“Central Otago is internationally recognised for producing some of the world’s best wine, and Pinot Noir from the region is particularly sought after because of the great intensity and finesse of the wine.”
Mr Riedel said Central Otago Pinot Noir was selected for the new wine glass because of its quality and intensity.
Each guest was asked to rate the glasses and award points to those they thought best reflected the way their wine should taste, before scores were collated and two glasses emerged as clear winners.
Experienced local winemaker Alan Brady, pioneer of wine in the Central Otago Wine region, said he was “amazed” at how different his Wild Irishman Pinot Noir wine tasted in each of the glasses.
“It was like I had tasted 14 different wines and for me there was one clear winner which stood out from the rest,” he said.
“The perfect Pinot Noir glass has a rounded, bulbous bottom and a thin pointed flow at the top. The glass controls the flow of wine to the palate in a spectacular way so the wine doesn’t become better, it tastes better”, said Mr Riedel.
Steve Green, chairman of New Zealand
Winegrowers’ and owner of Bannockburn’s Carrick Winery,
said this important development signalled that Central Otago
had ‘come of age’.
“The international reputation of our wines has been recognised and a dedicated Central Otago Pinot Noir glass will sit alongside worldwide icons such as a Burgundy Glass and the Champagne Flute”, he said.
“An historical moment is about to occur in New Zealand’s wine industry and Central Otago is preparing for the world stage.”
Visiting Queenstown for the first time, Mr Riedel was full of praise for the region saying he was “in love” with the beautiful town and a “huge fan” of the region’s Pinot Noirs.
“A wine as good as your Pinot Noir needs to be savoured from the correct glass.”
Along with his father before him, Georg Riedel has taken the 250-year-old Riedel company to the top of the wine glass world by designing individual glasses to enhance the aromas and flavours of specific wine varieties and styles.
Time magazine famously wrote: “The Riedel family have contributed more to the delight of wine lovers in the past 50 years than almost any winemaking dynasty.”
The company produces a range of glasses of different shapes and diameters for varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Pinot Noir which are used throughout the world.
Mr Green said it was testament to Mr Riedel’s love of Central Otago’s wines that he had travelled from the other side of the world to talk to winemakers and growers here and gather their thoughts.
“To have a company as influential as Riedel recognise our region’s Pinot Noirs as stand-out and worthy of a specially designed glass is a proud moment in Central Otago’s relatively short 30-year winegrowing history,” he said.
Austrian-born Quartz Reef winemaker Rudi Bauer described Mr Riedel’s visit as a “massive“ international endorsement of the region’s commitment to delivering quality wine.
“We’re looking forward to working with him further to identify the key elements for a Central Otago glass.”
The Riedel Central Otago Pinot Noir glass is planned for release by Hancocks Wine & Spirit Merchants in 2014.
Over the past 50 years, this Austrian clan of master glassmakers has done more to enhance the appreciation of wine than almost any winemaking dynasty. Claus Riedel was the first person in the long history of the glass to design its shape according to the character of the wine. He is thus the inventor of the functional wine glass. "The finest glasses for both technical and hedonistic purposes are those made by Riedel. The effect of these glasses on fine wine is profound. I cannot emphasize enough what a difference they make." (Robert M. Parker, Jr. The Wine Advocate).