Meet Penelope Gadd-Coster
She Sonoma’s superstar with a “sparkling” reputation. Now, thanks to nakedwines.com’s Angels, Penelope’s making wines of her own – and lifting a generation of female leaders along the way.
Penelope is one of four new winemakers nominated for nakedwines.com’s 2019 Rookie of the Year. Cast your vote by following her winemaker page – here.
How does a Sonoma sparkling wine legend – with 30+ years of industry expertise – make wines when she has a new community of “Angel” investors backing her?
Anyway she wants, that’s how.
As one of the latest winemakers to join nakedwines.com, bubbly icon Penelope Gadd-Coster is the imagination behind “Breathless by Penelope”; a new line of sparkling wines showcasing a winemaker cut loose creatively at the height of her career.
“This is really the first time I can make my own wines with my own style – not one that was already determined by a winery,” Penelope said to kick off her new role with nakedwines.com in June 2019.
If it’s famous and fizzy, chances are – Penelope’s the talent behind it. As Director of Winemaking for the top sparkling production company in CA, she’s made hundreds of iconic bubbles over the years!
Discretion is key here – when you work with prestigious sparkling houses like she does, you keep the name dropping to a minimum. But it’s fair to say her talent has influenced the famous sparkling you know and love.
Now over 100,000 Angels – the customer-investors behind nakedwines.com – are giving this sparkling wine savant the freedom and funding to focus on making wines to her own liking.
The first wines of “Breathless by Penelope” include a North Coast Blanc de Blancs, a California Brut and a pair of Sparkling Rosés – one made with grapes from Penelope’s long-time North Coast stomping grounds, the other with broader-sourced California grapes.
The wines are tied in name and facility to the sister-owned Healdsburg winery Breathless, where Penelope also serves as winemaker. Yet each is exclusive to nakedwines.com and Penelope’s specifications.
Penelope perfected her sparkling winemaking in the traditional method ( fermentation within the bottle) over decades and hundreds of sparkling wines, and uses it in each of her “Breathless by Penelope” wines to strike a balance between distinct fruit flavors and bright, refreshing acidity.
Not only has the choice to join nakedwines.com breathed new life and independence into her winemaking, Penelope said; today she feels an even deeper connection to those drinking her wines than ever before in her career.
With her own “wall” on nakedwines.com where she and Angels can post and interact, Penelope’s been able to reach those drinking her wine like never before. One such connection came soon after her wall went live.
According to one Angel’s post, a year before Penelope joined nakedwines.com, the Angel and her husband were visiting Healdsburg, California for their 50th wedding anniversary. Losing their way on the road, the couple pulled into a driveway at random to turn around.
In the course of changing course, they met the driveway’s owner, who gave them directions and a bottle of his wife’s sparkling rosé from a Healdsburg winery named Breathless.
Through the post on Penelope’s winemaker wall, the wayward Angel and Penelope discovered it was indeed Penelope’s husband and her driveway that the couple pulled into by chance.
For Penelope, it’s been only one of the countless connections that would otherwise be virtually impossible without the design of nakedwines.com.
“This has been such a great experience joining the family of nakedwines.com,” Penelope said. “The interactions with the Angels make the experience of making wine for them a much more personal experience for me.”
“One of the most exciting moments was seeing my wall and the first wines online – finally for me to share with the family!”
With more wines and connections in the making, for now Penelope is among the handful of new winemakers up for the nakedwines.com Rookie of the Year award, to be decided by popular Angel vote.
As she said when she first introduced herself to Angels: “Penelope Gadd-Coster is my name, incredible Bubblies are my game!”
Follow Penelope to discover the newest Angel-funded bubbly from the Sonoma Coast