Home Industry News Economics Research/Extension Specialist and Architect of Virginia’s Winegrape Industry to Receive ASEV’s Highest Honor

Research/Extension Specialist and Architect of Virginia’s Winegrape Industry to Receive ASEV’s Highest Honor

Dr. Tony Wolf’s fingerprints are firmly planted in today’s blossoming Virginia wine and grape industry. In recognition of his work and impact within the industry, Dr. Wolf will receive the American Society for Enology and Viticulture’s (ASEV) highest honor, the ASEV Merit Award, at the 75th ASEV National Conference in Portland, Oregon this June.

“I truly enjoyed all aspects of my work  ̶ the research, the extension, the teaching, as well as the administration. Seeing people profit from my efforts was hugely rewarding,” said Wolf. “Central to my own success was the collective team effort of an amazing group of collaborators. I am honored and I am extremely grateful to the ASEV for bestowing the Society’s Merit Award on me for 2024. Thank you.”

In 1986, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech hired Wolf to execute their vision of an elevated Virginia wine industry. Virginia is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the United States and Wolf ushered in modern practices that helped growers and winemakers create award-winning wines that contribute to the region’s growing reputation.

At Virginia Tech, he served in a multitude of positions. As a researcher, Wolf’s interests included variety evaluation, ameliorating biotic and abiotic threats to grapevines, and evaluation of applied means of improving grape and wine quality potential, especially through contemporary canopy management practices and vineyard floor management. He and his team authored over 50 research papers. He supported his research program with over $5 million in industry, state and federal funding, including a five-year USDA/Specialty Crop Research Initiative grant project (2010-2015) which he directed.,

Wolf’s extension work included workshops, development of web-based, decision support tools, and publication of technical print and online media, including over 30 years of a bimonthly “Viticulture Notes” newsletter. He was the principal author and editor of the Wine Grape Production Guide for Eastern North America, which was published in 2008.

Additionally, Wolf developed and taught an online viticulture course with Virginia Tech for seven years. He also served as the Alson H. Smith Jr. Agricultural Research and Extension Center director from 2004-2022. He retired from Virginia Tech in August 2022.

A member of ASEV since 1982, he has served as an associate editor for the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, and acted as director, secretary and chairman of the ASEV Eastern Section.

Wolf’s awards include Virginia Tech’s “Alumni Award for Extension Excellence” in 2009, Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Science’s “Andy Swiger Land Grant Award” in 2011, ASEV-Eastern Section’s Outstanding Achievement Award in 2017 and Virginia Vineyards Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2023.

The ASEV Merit Award, presented since 1955, is designed to celebrate the accomplishments of an individual in the field of enology or viticulture. The yearly award acknowledges achievement or excellence in any field directly or indirectly related to enology or viticulture, including education, technology, research, management and public relations.

Founded in 1950 by a group of researchers and winemakers, ASEV is dedicated to the interests of enologists, viticulturists and others in the fields of wine and grape research and production throughout the world. The ASEV National Conference is a forum for sharing and disseminating the latest scientific information relevant to winemaking and grapegrowing. To register or for more information about the 75th ASEV National Conference on June 17-20, 2024, visit www.asev.org.

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