Innsbruck Day 2: Riedel Glass

After a wonderful breakfast at the new hotel, we board the bus at 8:45 AM traveling to Kufstein, where we will tour the Riedel (pronouced “reedle”) glassworks manufacturer.

Riedel became a company in 1756, providing hand-blown glass services for ornamental or functional purposes. The company has survived many wars and cultural changes. They pride themselves on being able to thrive through such change counting their longevity to the commitment to their quality product. As advances in science enabled wine enthusiasts to mechanically critic wines by color, clarity, bouquet, and taste, Riedel reacted by focussing their products on wine glass designs that improved the wine drinking experience. For Riedel, the shape and structure of the glass can change the impression of any wine, therefore they design glasses that merge form and function to enhance the experience of wine drinking. There success is very apparent as they are noted as one of the world’s most famous wine glass manufacturers to date.

Students saw the glasses being hand-blown and learned about the inputs of the manufacturing process. They learned the marketing strategy at Riedel – one that places emphasis on uniqueness and elite status. Riedel’s slogan is “the wine glass company”.

The afternoon was free for some time to enjoy the city and do some shopping. At 7:30 PM, we met to take a coach to the starting point of an alpine lantern hike. This unique experience had us all hike up a portion of the mountain to a gasthaus offering a meal. After the meal, we descended the trail with the assistance of our guide and paraffin lanterns as the cool mountain air swirled around us. I think I could speak for everyone in saying this was such a wonderful time sure to never be forgotten.

Tired from our romp in the alps, we adjourned to the hotel for some rest. Tomorrow will bring a free day of enjoying the activities, sites, and sounds of this majestic location.

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