Mission Trails Vineyards was started by husband and wife team Ken and Robyn Rauh, both long time veterans of California's wine industry. Having done practically every concievable job related to wine making throughout their lives, they decided to take the best of what they had learned and apply it to their own venture in Monterey county. Monterey has a rich history in winemaking dating back to the Franciscan friars. For the Rauh's, the eventual plan is to have a whole line of wines from throughout California that depict the various Spanish Missions on the label where the grapes are sourced. "What I can tell you is that my wines represent a compilation of everyone else's winemaking techniques, or at least the best ones that have made the greatest impression on me." says Ken Rauh, winemaker. Monterey grows over 40 different varietals of wine grapes and a large portion of these varietals are blended or sent elsewhere for processing. Rarely are wines produced and available on their own as a stand-alone varietal, and for years, only vintners had the pleasure to sample these fine Monterey varietal wines in an individual form. Each variety grown in Monterey County has something special to express with its color, aroma and flavor, and it is in the spirit of exploration and promotion of the area's quality that proprietors Ken and Robyn Rauh created Mission Trail Vineyards. This month, the Gold Series features the Mission Trail Vineyards' 2007 Sauvignon Blanc and Mission Trail Vineyards' 2006 Syrah. For the Sauvignon Blanc, the grapes were hand selected according to flavor. Awarded a Silver Medal from the Beverage Tasting Institute's World Wine Championships and a Silver Medal from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, this wine is a pleasing and refreshing summer wine with a true sense of origin. The Syrah grapes matured on the vine for longer than usual, leading to darker fruit aromas and flavors, more depth overall and great length on the finish. The recipient of a Gold Medal from the Beverage Tasting Institute's World Wine Championships and a Gold Medal from the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, this Syrah is an excellent portrayal of the big and robust Syrahs from Bianco Bench Vineyard of Monterey. Enjoy these excellent selections and please tell us what you think. Comment here or rate the wine on our Judge the Wines page.