The Craftsmanship Behind the Jancis Robinson Glass Collection

As wine lovers, we spend a lot of time discussing the merits of the skill and expertise that goes into winemaking – but what of the talent and craftsmanship that goes into perfecting the humble wine glass?

The guest article below from our official glassware partners Richard Brendon showcases such a level of meticulous detail in the production of their Jancis Robinson collection, we were sure it would interest Wine Show fans who may never have thought to look ‘behind the curtain’ of this most essential wine accessory before.

ONE GLASS FOR EVERY WINE

Our Jancis Robinson Wine Collection was born from the idea that you should only need one glass for every wine. Although a simple notion, it was by no means a simple feat. Jancis Robinson and Richard talk through the craftsmanship and skill behind creating the first wine glass of its kind:

“I was looking for the perfect wine glass. I love white wine as much as red and have never understood why white wine glasses are routinely smaller than those designed for red wine. White wines can be just as complex, and just as deserving of what you might call aroma enhancement as reds. It just seems so obvious and sensible to have one single wine glass for all three colours of wine, especially when so many of us are short of storage space”.  Jancis Robinson

Our Wine glass is at the heart of the Collection and has been specifically designed to perfectly work with all wines: red, white, sparkling, port, sherry, or sweet. 

EXPERT GLASSBLOWERS IN SLOVENIA

To create the perfect glass for all wines with such precise specifications, we needed to find the most talented craftspeople, which is why we went to Slovenia, where the craft of glassblowing has been perfected over hundreds of years.

The glassblowers are masters in their field and it was imperative they had the skill to make glass as fine and light as Richard and Jancis required for the collection.

In fact, the glasses were made of such fine glass that when we first launched our collection there was only one team (made up of four people) in the world who could create it. And here they are below!

“The trickiest bit was getting the quality and weight of the products just right,” says Richard. “Our glass maker initially struggled to get the weight of the glass as light as we required because they had never produced a collection this fine before. We went through many rounds of prototypes, which Jancis and I reviewed together, to ensure we delivered a final product that met every single one of our requirements perfectly.”

“That our glassblowers persevered, and very quickly learned how to make the pieces perfectly, is a real testament to their phenomenal skill and dedication to the final vision we all shared.”  Richard Brendon

The Wine Show and Richard Brendon – a perfect partnership

As well as being functionally perfect, the Jancis Robinson collection has been meticulously designed to look and feel refined, elegant and timeless. The curves from the wine glass run throughout the collection to ensure all of the pieces fit perfectly together, while the ultra-fine, but remarkably strong, mouth blown crystal puts the wine lover in intimate contact with the wine, enhancing the tasting experience every time.

THE MAKING OF THE GLASSES

The glass is first melted in a furnace; and then extracted in precise quantities to create each piece. Using a blowpipe, they carefully blow a small bubble into the hot, molten glass so that it starts to take the size and shape of the glass.

To create a consistent shape, each glass is then blown into a mould. The original prototype was made out of wood but we now use an aluminium mould, as it can withstand longer periods of constant heat.

The bowl and the stem are made from one piece of glass unlike most mass-manufactured wine glasses, which means that at this point, glass is gently pulled from the bowl to produce our elegant, elongated stem. Another ball of glass is placed on the bottom of the stem, and gently tapped into shape to create the base.

The tops of the glasses are then removed to reveal the perfectly thin, gossamer-like rim, before they’re branded with our iconic JRxRB mark.

We’re so thrilled that since the launch, our 4-man team of glassblowers has now expanded, and as such the craftsmanship skills required to make our glasses have been passed on to others, and hopefully will continue to be shared with generations to come.

Originally posted by Richard Brendon on 16 Oct, 2019