AWG Correspondent

Kat Collins

Hackett Winery Photos

Hackett Winery Review

Regions: Lehigh Valley AVA, Pennsylvania

Reviewed: October 10, 2016 by Kat Collins
Published: May 25, 2017

Quality over quantity is Robert Hackett’s philosophy. It all started with a wine appreciation course Hackett took in college, which initially was about finding an easy course to fulfill his college requirements. Drinking wine all semester was an added bonus. Little did he know that he would get bit by the wine bug, inspiring a passion for all things wine. Years later, he found himself in Australia where he spent a weekend during harvest season helping at his friend’s winery. During this time, he had an epiphany…this is what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.

He moved to the heart of American wine growing, Healdsburg, California, took courses at the University of California Davis and Santa Rosa College, worked for a grower of organic Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley, and did lots of research. He immediately became drawn to the Lehigh County site after spotting it from a plane. Hackett believed that the Lehigh County area, especially the hillside with its abundance of minerals, sun, and wind, was just magnificent for growing top-notch grapes. He also felt that Pennsylvania wines’ “bad rap” was undeserved. He believed that good, quality wine was being made in Pennsylvania but was consumed mostly by locals, therefore others outside of Pennsylvania were only getting what was left, which was poorly made wine.

In 2006, in New Tripoli, Pennsylvania, Hackett began developing 12-acres, turning the cornfields into vineyards. For eight years, he worked at the vines, developing their qualities. He believed that if you do it, you do it right and do it well. And he has. The wines I tasted were the wines of experience. Hackett Wine’s tasting room opened on September 14, 2016. Normally when I visit a winery that just opened, I don’t have high expectations since they’re so new. I expect their wines to need time and experience. Yet, at Hackett Wine, the time and age were already there. The wines were exquisite! Hackett’s goal beyond quality is to tell a story with his wines, to embrace the terroir, and truly experience the Lehigh Valley in your glass.

I tasted five different wines that were available. Each one left a lasting impression, especially the Vice Riesling, both dry and off-dry versions, and Hillcrest, a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Both Vice Rieslings had bright, luscious fruit and refreshing acidity, a definite thirst quencher. The Hillcrest was big and mouth-filling but the dark fruit, acidity, and moderate alcohol kept it in perfect balance. Also available were a Naked Chardonnay (unoaked), Handmade Pinot Noir, and American Beauty Rose made from Cabernet Franc grapes. Suffice it to say I went home with one of each, they were that good. Glasses of wine ($5-$7) and bottles of wine can be enjoyed indoors or at one of the tables on the gravel patio outdoors. You can sample the wines for a $5 tasting fee, and if you purchase a bottle, the $5 tasting fee is waived. A 10-percent discount is applied to any 12 bottle purchase.

In addition to wine, Hackett Wine also offers oil paintings by local artist Carol Maguire, who you’ll often find behind the bar helping with the tasting room. The artwork decorates the quaint, rustic tasting room. The tasting room, featuring a garage door that opens to the vineyard, is housed in a 1,000-square-foot building that Hackett used for storage. It’s now a cozy room, complete with soothing blue walls, low-lit lamps, and wooden bars with barrel bases. Combined with Hackett’s warm welcome, and delicious, high-quality wines, this is a must visit for any wine lover.

Address & Contact Information: 8375 Carpet Rd New Tripoli, Pennsylvania 18066. Telephone: 610-996-7468, email:, website: Tasting Hours: Wed-Thurs 3:00-6:00, Fri-Sat 12:00-7:00 and by appt..

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