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  • Writer's pictureHolly Kirby


Let's look for learning wherever we go.

“Keep the corners of your mouth turned up. Speak in a low, persuasive tone. Listen; be teachable. Laugh at good stories and learn to tell them...For as long as you are green, you can grow.”

— Mother Teresa

I have been thinking about the idea of being teachable and what an admirable quality it really is for a few weeks now. Even though it comes quite naturally to the young, it's absolutely attainable for the young at heart as well.

This picture made me laugh and then grabbed me as very profound. With all of Spiderman's super-human powers, he still has much to learn and creates the mindset and space to do just that.

Whether we're Spiderman or Mother Teresa, whatever our role and whatever difference we are here to make, there's always more to learn and there's always room to grow. That doesn't make us childish, it makes us child-like in the best way. We all had to be a beginner some time. What a relief it would be to not feel as if we have to know it all.

Woven into the super hero suit of a teachable spirit is humility, curiosity and wonder. I don't know about you but I want to wear that every day.

My childlike pursuit: To tune into my "spidey senses" and look for learning everywhere I go.




We're having a holiday sale! If you're shopping for your loved ones, or even for yourself and not sure what to get, why not a wine tour experience in the Willamette Valley? If you book a tour OR purchase a gift certificate now through Christmas Day, we will throw in a beautiful Gather + Give signature charcuterie box for free! Head here to pick up your perfect gift now!


We're so excited to have these beautiful charcuterie boards as our first Serendipity Wine Tours merchandise! These Oregon-shaped boards made from gorgeous Purple Heart wood were handcrafted by local business Ortiz Woodworks. (Head on over to his IG page and check out his work for yourselves!) We can't wait to roll these out next year so you can think of us whenever you're enjoying your favorite wines and wine-worthy snacks!


Wouldn't this be a gift you would love to receive? Serendipity Wine Tour Gift Certificates are now available in $100 increments or "The Works" for $600. We think it's a great gift idea for co-workers, friends or family! (Even a wonderful last-minute gift for you and your significant other.) Give the gift you'd love to receive!

Special Holiday Sale - Receive a FREE signature charcuterie box from Gather + Give with any gift certificate purchased before December 25, 2021!



This is a space created for appreciating those who go above and beyond. It's fun to catch people in the act of being kind!

This edition of Two Claps goes out to Susanna, Danny and the amazing hospitality team at Alloro Vineyards. I had a memorable and very special tour in late October with guests that were celebrating their marriage that very day. The whole hospitality team at Alloro pulled together to create a feeling, a feeling that others were behind them in this new journey together and celebrating with them. To me, experiencing this drove home the fact that Alloro is a special place that has the leadership, communication, mutual respect between team members, and baseline CARE it takes to create lifelong memories for people through the gift of hospitality. A huge, heartfelt TWO CLAPS to all of you! Your kindness makes a difference and sparks joy in this world.



Coming soon...the return of Pay it Forward Industry Tour Days in January through March for our friends in the Oregon wine industry. We will have 3-4 days a month (which will be announced) where our industry friends can take a tour with us at a deeply discounted rate.

Launching the Oregon Wine Tourism Collective ("OWTC"). Refining the purpose and scope and planning our first meeting for January.

First annual Serendipity Business Retreat will be planned for just before our family retreat in late January. We think it will provide a forum for reflection, forward-thinking and fun.



You may have driven by Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey (or the "Trappist Abbey") while visiting different wineries and tasting rooms in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. I have heard many a tour guest inquire if they make wine there. They do not; however, they do have a Wine Warehouse as one of their industries. They also have a Book Bindery and Fruitcake Bakery Business to support their monastic life of prayer, hospitality and alms-giving. They normally are open for public liturgy and retreats and although those are currently unavailable due to COVID restrictions, their beautiful hiking trails are open and just waiting for you to explore. If you've been curious, I encourage you to connect with the Abbey in one of the ways listed above.




I am excited to introduce you to a new find for us this year. We live so close and love it that we get to share this hidden gem with you. If you haven’t visited MonksGate just outside of Carlton (very close to Abbey Road Farm), then I highly recommend! I find their wines delicious (especially the Trinity and Covenant), the location is charming and comfortable and the hospitality is warm, funny and unpretentious. Rebecca and Fizzy will greet you and take you on a ride you will love to share!

I am inspired by Rebecca’s story and that of her parents, Ron & Linda. It is a beautiful journey that started with dreams, a farmer’s work ethic and values, and of course, lots of family love and support. Today, we get to see it unfold to the next generation of lawyer-turned-farmer and dedicated champion of the MonksGate brand. I hope you’ll take the time to read their origin story here.

If you are curious about the name like I was, their property backs up to The Trappist Abbey and one day after seeing two monks in rain slickers from the Abbey walking out of the woods, Rebecca’s dad said they “needed to put in a Monk’s Gate” in the deer fencing so the monks could continue their meditative walks, and there you have it!

Now for some highlights from my conversation with this smart, funny and hard-working lady responsible for building the MonksGate brand to what it is today. (We dove right into the deep end.) :)

What is the difference you’d like to make or the legacy you’d like to leave?

Being a good steward of this land. I’m devoted to doing the best I can to take care of it, including farming practices that are healthy and respective of the land and not overworking it. I watched orchards disappear in California due to focus on mono-agriculture. So we are reworking our oak forest, creating pollinator habitats, cultivating wildflowers, etc. I’m also working on building an educational trail system and getting that approved.

What is one thing that you love about the Oregon wine industry?


What is one thing that you would like to see improve?

Opportunity. As we are growing and bigger companies are moving in, there is less opportunity. One silver lining of COVID is more disposable income and that people are choosing with more discrimination to spend money at places they feel connected to. District Marketing Organizations can help with this (like AVA organizations). It’s part of their role and mission to support their growers. They are like a built-in marketing team.

What do you think will be necessary for the Oregon wine industry to learn or to maintain to survive and thrive through its rapid growth?

It will need to think about land use. Water use is going to become paramount. We need to not overpopulate the valley with vineyards, use discretion of what to plant and where. Overplanting will cause prices to drop and will damage growers and reputation of quality.

Do you think it’s important to maintain a teachable spirit in the wine industry?

You mean like being open to learning new things? I travel the world as a student. I would take classes everywhere.

Can you be considered an expert and teachable at the same time?

A wise person knows that they will never know everything. The ignorant think they know everything. It’s frightening when you don’t know, but stay open to learn as much as you can. We can’t do a good job for ourselves or the earth without that.

Since you personally spend so much time in the tasting room building the MonksGate brand, what do you think are the most important qualities in hospitality?

Being a “people person.” Authenticity. Be who you are.

What is one of your passions outside of wine that others may not know about you?

Scuba diving! I’m an avid scuba diver and certified Dive Master. I used to dive the Channel Islands all the time. Would love to travel and dive again. Next up: Indonesia! Oh, and the Red Sea.

What is one of the most rewarding things about what you do?

Connecting with people. I get to share something I love to do and have people find value and joy in it. I get to play a small part in their happy memories. I just love the feedback loop. Monksgate comes into their lives and for some, it’s a weekly routine. What an honor to do something like that!


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