Wine of the Week.We all know that drinking red wine is enjoyable, that it can enhance a meal, and that it protects against heart disease. But did you know that drinking wine can now benefit the protection and restoration of North America’s grizzly bear populations?
Sustainable. Andy Sponseller is tired of hearing people talk about sustainability and green living without doing much about either. Especially given that he and Connie Poten, the organic vineyard’s other owner, will be in debt for the next 10 years for the sake of the green cause.
The Danish Connection. Friends of Ten Spoon Vineyard and Winery met at the Copenhagen airport with Frederik Kreutzer, the winner of the Name-That-Winery Contest in 2006, and presented him with two cases of Ten Spoon wines.
Corking the Competition. Casey Lewis poured himself a pitifully small glass of Prairie Thunder, the Petite Sirah he helps make as an assistant winemaker at Missoula's Ten Spoon Winery.
Global warming may actually help Connie Poten’s business. Without fail a freeze would consistently come on Memorial Day and Labor Day, making even the most resistant of grapes all but impossible to grow.
Ten Spoon Vineyard and Winery. Andy Sponseller and Connie Poten sit at their kitchen table facing a living room stacked from cement floor to elevated ceiling with cases of wine.
Harvesting Dreams: The crush is on. Dreams ferment. They reside in the subconscious, torpid, like the winter sleep of fishes. From time to time, sometimes with years, sometimes with decades as intervals, they bubble back up to the surface.
Trademark complaint forces Missoula winery to find another name. A West Coast winery has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Rattlesnake Creek Vineyard owners Andy Sponseller and Connie Poten that tells them to find another name.
Rattlesnake vineyard selects new name: Ten Spoons. It's the new name from the vintners formerly known as Rattlesnake Creek.
Volunteers, students harvest grapes at Rattlesnake Creek Vineyard. It's harvest time at the Rattlesnake Creek Vineyard, and everyone who has come to pick the bounty is smiling.
Extreme winemaking. “Look at that color!” exclaimed Sponz, holding the glass of ruby red wine up to the light. It’s the smoothest shade of red you can imagine, with a faint ring of honey amber around the edge.
Dinner Provençal at the Rattlesnake Winery. We brought in the 2005 Montana Chef of the Year, Chef Jim Gray, to create a four course menu cooked in the style of Provence, using Missoula's own bounty and then paired it with wines produced locally by the Rattlesnake Winery.
Couple's dream reaches fruition with grape harvest. The grapes, a hardy variety called Marechal Foch, are a muted purple thick with juice and ready for picking. Up and down the rows, men and women—some students, some neighbors—are working the vines, clipping the ripe clusters and dropping then into yellow trays.
A grapevine runs through it. Montana might often seem short on luxury, but part of the greatness of the place is that it never lacks dreamers. Andy Sponseller and Connie Poten are two of them, and after five years of dreaming, scheming, and just plain sweating, the pair's far-sighted vision has ripened to fruition.
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“Come on, drink up, Lewis. We have thinking to do.”
—Chief Inspector Morse, Cambridge, UK
ten spoon in the news
Ten Spoon brings home the silver. At the 2012 Indy International Wine Competition sponsored by Purdue University August 3-5, Ten Spoon's Farm Dog, Flathead Cherry Dry and Paradise Pear won Silver Medals. There were more than 3,000 entries from 40 states and a dozen countries. And the gold. Grown and produced in Montana, Ten Spoon’s Flathead Cherry Dry wine won Best of Region and a Gold Medal at the 2011 Northwest Wine Summit in May. The judging was held at the Columbia Gorge Hotel, Hood River, Oregon. The Northwest Wine Summit is the largest competition of Pacific Northwest wines including northern California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and western Canada.
Made from certified organic lambert cherries grown at Lise Rousseau and Al Silva’s Fat Robin Orchard on Finley Point, Flathead Lake, Flathead Cherry Dry is Montana’s top-selling, locally produced wine.
The Northwest Wine Summit also awarded Ten Spoon Bronze Medals for Paradise Pear wine and Getaway, a dry, white blend of Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer grapes grown at Pheasant Valley Vineyard in Hood River, Ore. and Oak Ridge Vineyard in Husum, Wash.
The 20th Indy International Wine Competition at Purdue University in Indiana awarded Ten Spoon Vineyard and Winery 3 medals in August, 2011. Silver Medal winners were Prairie Thunder Syrah, and Paradise Pear. For every bottle of Prairie Thunder sold, a dollar goes to The Vital Ground Foundation to protect and restore grizzly bear habitat. Farm Dog, a blend of estate-grown, French-American hybrid red grapes and Sirah grapes grown by Harold Pleasant in Prosser, Wash., won a Bronze Medal.
Organized by the Purdue Wine Grape Team, the Indy International Wine Competition is the largest scientifically organized and independent wine competition in the U.S., which is now the world’s largest wine market. Over fifty professional judges traveled to Indiana for the competition which included 3,000 wines form fifteen countries and 43 U.S. states.
All Ten Spoon wines are made at the Ten Spoon Winery in Missoula, Montana, and are organic with no added sulfites.Check out our entire selection of wines or visit the winery at 4175 Rattlesnake Drive, Missoula, during tasting hours, 5–9 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Wine retailers throughout the state of Montana carry Ten Spoon wines.
Good Wine and a Good Soak. On a recent business trip through southwest Montana, I had my evenings free. That allowed me to make the 30-mile trip from Bozeman to Norris Hot Springs.
First Class. Who would have thought that wine grapes would grow at 3,450 feet just two degrees south of the Canadian border? Andy Sponseller and Connie Poten planted their first grapes in the Rattlesnake Valley near Missoula, Montana in 1997 and they have been producing first-class organically grown and produced wines since 2003.
Ten Spoon adds more accolades to its growing list of awards, capturing a gold medal, a Best of Region award, a silver medal and three bronze medals for five of its wines from the 2009 Northwest Wine Summit Competition, the Finger Lakes International Wine Competitionin New York and the National Women's Wine Competition.
Wine writer lists Silver Spoon Reserve Pinot Noir as one of her faves. This wine is clean, pure in style and screams, “Drink me!” [read more in the Missoulian]
Ten Spoon joins Vital Ground to protect habitat and preserve open space.Ten Spoon will donate one dollar to the Missoula-based land trust for every bottle of its Prairie Thunder organic red wine sold.