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Owners of a Montana winery have chosen a new name — Ten Spoons — following a trademark feud with a Washington state winery. Their options were many and varied. More than a week ago, the owners of the winery formerly known as Rattlesnake Creek announced a contest: Whoever supplied a new name would receive a case of wine every year for the rest of their life. More than 1,000 submissions came by e-mail and telephone from as far away as Germany. The winning name — a combination of the last names of owners Andy Sponseller and Connie Poten — came from Frederik Kreutzer of Denmark. A sampling of other submissions, which ranged from the sensible to the silly, included: Twitchy Litigator Wine, Snake Bit Lawyer Red, Rocky Patch, Missing Lynx Beaujolais and Salish Crossing. “We got lots of crossing names, which is lovely, but we decided to go quirky,” Poten said. The owners were forced to change the winery’s name after receiving a cease-and-desist letter about two weeks ago from Portteus Winery of Zillah, Wash., which has been making a wine called Rattlesnake Ridge since 1989 and registered the name as a trademark about eight years ago. Rattlesnake Winery had been making wine from its 21-acre vineyard in the upper Rattlesnake Creek neighborhood for five years. Under a tentative agreement with Portteus, Poten Sponseller have a year to sell the remaining wine with the Rattlesnake Creek brand. Already, they have started printing corks and labels with the new Ten Spoons name. “That’s the best business decision,” Sponseller said. Poten, meanwhile, has already begun to check into the cost of shipping a case of Ten Spoons wine to Denmark. The first batch will be a Beaujolais to be available by Valentine’s Day, if federal approval for the new wine label comes through. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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