Below I have prepared two graphs that detail the development of the 2009 Albemarle County Wine climate through the end of August 2009.

Based on earlier posts on this blog regarding Bordeaux and California wine quality and climate, the Albemarle season is not shaping up to be great one.      The precipitation graph below indicates the early part of the season (I assumed the wine growing season started on May 1st) was wetter than average.  Likewise the Heating Degree Day chart (HDD) shows the summer has been cooler than normal.

Ashenfelter et al.  indicates the best vintages in Bordeaux come from summers that are warmer than normal and drier than normal (but with ample preseason precipitation to ensure good ground moisture).

2009 Albemarle Country Accumulated Precipitation

2009 Albemarle Country Accumulated Precipitation

The early portion of the summer was wetter, based on this accumulated preciptation graph.  Note how the slope of the red line (2009 rainfall) is steeper than the blue line (average accumulated rainfall).   So,  it rained more than average in the early portion of the summer, which may not necessarily be bad except that it kept raining during the summer with only a brief period of reduced rain accumulation rate.

The Degree Day story is not much better.  The summer has been cooler than average (since May 1, anyway) as indicated by the red line (2009 summer) being below the blue line.   Again,  ideal wine gowing conditions tend to be warmer (but not too warm!) rather than cooler.

2009 Albemarle County Degree Days

2009 Albemarle County Degree Days