Riedel's manufacture of exceptional wine glasses is a tradition that began with Johann Christoph Riedel in Bohemia (now the Czech Republic) in the 17th century. Traveling all over Europe trading glassware, Riedel began a legacy that has spanned more than 11 generations and 300 years. Over time, Riedel became synonymous with fine glass, producing windowpanes, chandelier components, perfume flacons, even glass tubes used in radar machinery during wartime. It wasn't until the 1950s that the companyunder the guidance of Claus Joseph Riedel, the 9th generation of Riedel ownersbegan developing wine glasses. Claus had the vision to create wine glasses completely out of the norm; long-stemmed wine glasses made of clear, thin-blown glass instead of thick, colored cut glass. He was the first designer to recognize that the bouquet, taste, balance, and finish of wines are affected by the shape of the glass from which they are sipped. He applied this knowledge by varying the sizes and shapes of the bowls of their glasses, a concept illustrated to perfection with the introduction of the "Sommeliers" series in 1973. This debut resulted in the Riedel name becoming known to oenophiles the world over. The company is now run by the 11th generation Riedel, Maximillian Josef, who designed the popular "O" line and continues to innovate today.