Wade Wolfe received a B.S. degree in Biochemistry in 1971 and a Ph.D. in Plant Genetics in 1976, both from the University of California at Davis. While at Davis he completed course work in viticulture and enology and a Ph. D. thesis on grape genetics. Between 1976 and 1978 he was the Research Viticulturist and Enologist at the University of Arizona for a wine grape feasibility study in the Southwest. In 1978 he joined Chateau Ste. Michelle as Technical Viticulturist and became Director of Vineyard Operations in 1983. In 1985 he left Ste. Michelle to pursue a vineyard consulting business. In 1987 Wade and his wife Becky founded Thurston Wolfe Winery. In 1991 he joined Hogue Cellars as Viticulturist and became General Manager in 1996. In July 2004 he left Hogue Cellars to pursue winemaking full time at Thurston Wolfe Winery. He is a past Director and President of the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers, past Chair and current member of the Washington Wine Advisory Committee, and past Chair and current board member of Wine Yakima Valley, an association of Yakima Valley wineries and growers.
He has published articles about the Washington wine industry in Wines & Vines, American Journal of Viticulture and Enology, Washington State Grape Society Proceedings, Oregon Horticultural Society Proceedings, and in various Washington State University seminar proceedings. In recognition of his contributions to the Washington wine industry, Wade is recipient of the 1993 Alec Bayless Award from the Washington Wine Commission, 2000 Dr. Walter Clore Award from the Washington State Grape Society and 2002 Industry Service Award from the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers.