MISSOULA — You've heard the phrase, "aging like a fine wine." For Andy Sponseller and Connie Poten, that's exactly how the years have gone at Ten Spoon Vineyard and Winery -- from clearing their first pasture in 1998 to planting another vineyard in 2012.
Then, 2020 hit.
“We were planning to ramp up our venue and have a big year,” said winemaker Andy Sponseller. “We had lots of weddings booked and the outbreak of COVID in February and March changed all that, and a lot of our events were canceling left and right.”
So, they booked what they could, at times feeling they were scraping the bottom of the barrel. “People just weren't interested in coming out,” said Sponseller.
After several bitter months of COVID, summer eventually came, bringing with it loosened restrictions from the health department.
Andy and Connie looked around their Rattlesnake oasis, realizing that if anyone could keep a venue running during the pandemic, it was them.
“We were one of the few music venues in Montana that was open,” said Sponseller, “People showed up in droves.”
Craving social interaction, Ten Spoon customers turned out with their kids and their dogs, eager for a glass of Prairie Thunder and some local music.
“It was about 90 days that turned out really well and it kind of saved our bacon for the wintertime.”
With Missoula on the up and up, Ten Spoon’s patio will welcome guests once again this week.
Rumblings of a Ten Spoon 10k, fundraisers, weddings, and a potential car show now replace conversations of uncertainty.
“We’ll get back to normal, we will, whatever normal is,” Sponseller said.
Ten Spoon has a full lineup of live music set for the season, and they’ll be ready to serve a socially distanced, outdoor crowd come Thursday, April 8th.
You can keep up with their happenings on their social media pages or website.
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