The 2009 vintage was like a good book with a lousy ending if you where caught with your fruit still hanging on the vines by the time the rains came. However, for those who harvested before the rains, 2009 proved to be a remarkable year. The spring was unusually warm and dry. The growing season was uneventful and temperatures were cooler than growers had seen in recent vintages, with fewer heat spikes above 90 degrees in July and August. As September approached, some ripeness levels lagged, but an extended spell of warm temperatures jumpstarted harvest. Then the rain rolled in a few weeks early, starting on October 13. The downpour quickly dumped six inches in Sonoma County and continued intermittently. Growers and winemakers waited until the last minute to allow their vineyards every hour possible to reach their target harvest numbers. Subsequently, it became a challenge to find picking crews since so many vineyards were essentially picking on the same day. Those who elected to ride out the rain suffered for it. Much of the fruit fell apart and never ripened.