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Tony Wolf

Portrait of Tony Wolf in vineyard
  • Fax: (540) 869-0862


  • Ph.D., Pomology and Viticulture, 1986, Cornell University
  • M.S., Horticulture, 1982, The Pennsylvania State University
  • B.S., Plant Sciences, 1980, West Virginia University


  • "Contribution to Virginia Viticulture,” by Virginia Vineyards Association, February 2008.
  • Virginia Tech Alumni Extension Excellence Award, March 2009.
  • Virginia Tech's College of Agriculture and Life Science's Land-grant Award, July 2011.
  • Virginia Agribusiness Council's "Land Grant University" award recipient, 2016.
  • Outstanding Achievement Award recipient, Eastern Section/American Society for Enology and Viticulture, 2017. 


My research interests are broad and reflect the multi-disciplinary challenges faced by the Virginia wine grape industry. Previous research included refinements to our grapevine canopy management strategies to increase wine quality potential, cold hardiness studies, potential uses of plant growth regulators, and inter-disciplinary collaboration with entomologists and plant pathologists to reduce pest and disease problems. I maintain an interest in the identification of insect vectors of phytoplasmas that cause North American Grapevine Yellows disease. More recently I’ve begun collaborating with a start-up company to evaluate the efficacy of an enzymatic fungicide for use on grape. I am also involved in nutritional studies of vines, principally as related to nitrogen needs and assessment. Graduate students have been an integral part of my research program.

Although I have a research and extension appointment, I teach an upper-level undergraduate viticulture course in alternate years. I’ve also served as Director of the Alson H. Smith Jr. Agricultural Research and Extension Center since 2004.


My Extension responsibilities are to educate commercial grape growers and train Virginia Cooperative Extension agents in interdisciplinary measures that improve grape quality and vineyard productivity. I use workshops, short courses, virtual and field meetings, and a variety of written media, including the Viticulture Notes newsletter, to disseminate information. To the extent possible, I also address individual requests for information and assistance. I directly assist Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) faculty-agents with grape-related problems and provide in-service agent training at regional and within-state events. I work closely with the Virginia Vineyards Association to develop their annual winter technical meeting, and other resources, including the "Sustainable Vineyard Practices" workbook for Virginia grape producers.

Recent refereed journal publications (leading numbers are cumulative total):

51.    Hickey, C.C. and T.K. Wolf. 2019. Intensive fruit zone leaf thinning increases Vitis vinifera L. 'Cabernet Sauvignon' berry temperature and berry phenolics without adversely affecting berry anthocyanins in Virginia. HortScience 54:1181-1189.

50.    Lenzi, P., T.M. Stoepler, D.J. McHenry, R.E. Davis and T.K. Wolf. 2019. Jikradia olitoria ([Hemiptera]:[Cicadellidae]) Transmits the Sequevar NAGYIIIβ Phytoplasma Strain Associated with North American Grapevine Yellows in Artificial Feeding Assays. J. Insect Sci., 19(1):1-10.

49.    Hatch, T.A., M. Nita and T.K. Wolf. 2019. Vegetative and reproductive responses of mature Cabernet Sauvignon grapevines converted from spur pruning to cane pruning at five-foot in-row vine spacing. Catalyst 3: (DOI: 10.5344/catalyst.2019.18004).

48.    Hickey C.C. and T.K. Wolf. 2018. Cabernet Sauvignon responses to prebloom and post-fruit set leaf removal in Virginia. Catalyst 2:24-34.

47.    Davis, R.E., E.L. Dally, Y. Zhao, and T.K. Wolf. 2018. Genotyping Points to Divergent Evolution of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris’ Strains Causing North American Grapevine Yellows and Strains Causing Aster Yellows. Plant Disease 102:1696-1702.

46.    Hickey, C.C., M.T. Kwasniewski and T.K. Wolf. 2018. Leaf removal effects on Cabernet franc and Petit Verdot. II. Grape carotenoids, phenolics, and wine sensory analysis. Amer. J. Enol. Vitic. 69:231-246.

45.    Hickey, C.C. and T.K. Wolf. 2018. Leaf removal effects on Cabernet franc and Petit Verdot. I. Crop yield components and primary fruit composition. Amer. J. Enol. Vitic. 69:221-230.

44.    Giese, Gill, T.K. Wolf, C. Velasco-Cruz, and L. Roberts. 2016. Cover crop and root pruning effects on the rooting pattern of SO4 rootstock grafted to Cabernet Sauvignon. Amer. J. Enol. Vitic. 67:105-115.

43.    Gustavo, F.C., Hatch, T.A. and Wolf, A.K. 2016. Assessment of the impact of viticulture extension programs in Virginia. Journal of Extension, 54(5). 11 pages.

42.    Klodd, A., D. Eissenstat, T.K. Wolf, and M. Centinari. 2016. Coping with cover crop competition in mature grapevines. Plant and Soil 400:391-402.

41.    Hickey, C., T. Hatch, J. Stallings, and T.K. Wolf. 2016. Under-trellis cover crop and rootstock affect growth, yield components, and fruit composition of Cabernet Sauvignon. Amer. J. Enol. Vitic. 67:281-295.

40.    Davis, RE, EL Dally, Y Zhao, I-M Lee, W Wei, TK Wolf, L Beanland, DG LeDoux, DA Johnson, JA Fiola, H Walter-Peterson, I Dami and M Chien. 2015. Unraveling the etiology of North American Grapevine Yellows (NAGY): Novel NAGY phytoplasma sequevars related to ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma pruni’. Plant Dis. 99:1-11.

39.    Giese, Gill, T.K. Wolf, C. Velasco-Cruz, L. Roberts, and J. Heitman. 2015. Cover crop and root pruning impacts on vegetative growth, crop yield components, and grape composition of Cabernet Sauvignon. Amer. J. Enol. Vitic. 66:212-226.

38.  Giese, Gill, C. Velasco-Cruz, L. Roberts, J. Heitman, and T.K. Wolf. 2014. Complete vineyard floor cover crops favorably limit grapevine vegetative growth. Scientia Horticulturae 170:256-266.

37. Hatch, Tremain A., Cain C. Hickey, and Tony K. Wolf. 2011. Cover crop, rootstock, and root restriction regulate vegetative growth of Cabernet Sauvignon in a humid environment. Amer. J. Enol. Vitic. 62:208-311.

36. Zoecklein, B.W., T.K. Wolf, L. Pelanne, M.K. Miller, and S.S. Birkenmaier. 2008. Effect of vertical shoot-positioned, Smart-Dyson, and Geneva Double-Curtain training systems on Viognier grape and wine composition. Amer. J. Enol. Vitic. 59:11-21.


Recent books and peer-reviewed extension bulletins

Wolf, T. K. and G. Giese. 2020. Floor management strategies for Virginia vineyards. SPES 209P, Virginia Cooperative Extension Bulletin.

Stoepler, T.M. and T.K. Wolf. 2013. North American Grapevine Yellows Disease: Current knowledge and management recommendations for wine growers. VCE Publication AREC-48P, VPI and SU, Blacksburg, VA.

Wolf, T.K. (editor). 2008. Wine Grape Production Guide for Eastern North America. NRAES -145. Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service (NRAES), Ithaca, NY. 336 p.