Penelope Coral Gadd-Coster

Penelope Coral Gadd-Coster

Breathless (Winemaker)

Forenzo Vineyards (Winemaker)

Rack and Riddle Custom Wine Services (Consulting Winemaker)

Penelope (Penny) Coral Gadd-Coster’s interest in wine began when her family moved to the Livermore Valley in central California. It took a few years, and the advice of a friend, to convince her that making wine was a career that did not require belonging to a winemaking family. In 1986 she was hired to help with the crush at Jordan Vineyards & Winery, which led to a 13-year career at Jordan. That was the same year that the Jordans brought the first French Coquard sparkling wine press to the United States to begin J, a sparkling wine experiment. In 1999 she was hired as the assistant winemaker for J, eventually working her way up to the position of winemaker for sparkling wines. In 2007, Penny left J to work as a winemaker for Rack & Riddle Custom Wine Services and has been the winemaker at Forenzo Vineyards since its inception in 2009, where she is producing Pinot Grigio, Zinfandel, and Pinot Noir. She is also the winemaker at Breathless, where she crafts sparkling wines from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay fruit using traditional French methods.

In the fall of 2005, Penny and her husband Frank started Coral Mustang™, where Penny crafts Tempranillo wines. During a visit to Spain – one of her favorite countries – she learned how perfect and versatile the Tempranillo grape is for producing world-class wine.

The winery’s unusual name (and logo, which is a seahorse anchored to coral) has a special meaning. Coral, Penny’s middle name, expresses her lifelong love of the ocean. Mustang is a term of respect often used in the military to describe people who rise through the ranks of their profession, which is what she did. Her first crush job was at a prestigious Sonoma County winery where she walked the vineyards sampling sugars, tested and evaluated the juice and wines, and pulled hoses in the cellar. Penny stayed on after that first crush, and in subsequent years she learned the craft while working her way through the ranks to become a winemaker.

As a winemaker, her goal is to create a truly personalized ultra-premium wine. Her philosophy of winemaking stems from experiences working with and being mentored by some of the most highly regarded winemakers in Sonoma County, including the late André Tchelistcheff. Penny was the first winemaker to be named “Winemaker of the Year” for the Napa and Sonoma wine regions in the inaugural Wine Industry Awards in 2013.

Outside of winemaking, Penny loves cooking, fly fishing, gardening, and traveling.