Fritz Westover has been working hands-on in the viticulture industry since 1999, assisting growers in the eastern, southern, and western United States. He began as a vineyard worker for the Chaddsford Winery in southeastern Pennsylvania, while obtaining his BS in horticulture from Penn State University. Fritz completed his MS in 2003 from the Penn State Department of Plant Pathology, where he worked on projects including grapevine decline in replanted vineyards, grape disease management, and the science of compost application in vineyards.
Fritz has worked internationally as an assistant winemaker for the 2004 harvest at Caiarossa Vineyards and Winery in Pisa, Italy. From 2005 to 2007, Fritz served as Virginia Tech’s Viticulture Research-Extension Associate at the Alson H. Smith Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Winchester, Virginia. From 2007 to 2013 he served as Viticulture Extension Program Specialist for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service where he worked statewide on developing viticulture education and research programs. Fritz worked in California from 2013 to 2015 as Technical Program Coordinator with the Vineyard Team, a leading grower group in the Central Coast of California, where he developed hands-on educational programs and applied research demonstrations to enhance vineyard sustainability. Fritz continues to consult for vineyard clients in more than five states in the southeastern US, serving as a leading resource for growers of Pierce’s disease tolerant and vinifera winegrapes.
Fritz contributes to several national viticulture education projects including content contribution to the national eXtension web page for commercial grape production. He has been a member of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) since 2005 and served on the board of directors and as chair of the board for the eastern section of the ASEV.