Over 20 years ago, Connie Poten and Andy Sponseller worked with friends, family and volunteers to turn a rocky patch of 4 and a half acres into the lovely Missoula, Montana vineyard and winery it is today. Located in the upper Rattlesnake Valley, north of Missoula, many people wonder how a vineyard and winery can operate in such northerly conditions. Despite Montana’s short growing season, the long daylight hours of the north allow them to successfully cultivate primarily French-American varietals: Frontenac, St. Pepin, LaCrosse, Marechal Foch, Leon Millot, St. Croix and Swenson Red.
Ten Spoon is also dedicated to preserving the environment and supporting small farms. The land was originally purchased to save it from development. Since then, the rocky slope has been transformed into a healthy open space for wildlife and the vineyard irrigation system is solar-powered. The fruit and grapes not grown on-site are all purchased from family farms in Montana, Oregon, Washington and California. And right along Ten Spoon’s driveway, there’s a small lavender farm called Rocky Mountain Lavender, which they actively promote on their website. Throughout Ten Spoon’s 20 years of growth, Connie and Andy have continued to spread their core message: Saving habitat and enjoying good wine go together in Missoula, Montana.