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Breathless Wines Earns Rising Wine Stars 2020 “Winery of the Year”


Healdsburg-Based, Female-Led Winery Takes Home Top Honors in Annual Awards

Healdsburg, CA, September 1, 2020 – California sparkling wine trendsetter, Breathless Wines, has been named the 2020 “Winery of the Year” by LuxeSF’s annual Rising Wine Star Awards.

LuxeSF, formerly The Luxury Marketing Council of San Francisco, assembled a panel of 14 respected industry influentials to make the final selection for this year’s honorees, from a pool of 74 candidates across all five award categories. The recipients were formally named yesterday in a press release.

The annual Winery of the Year Award, established in 2017, is given to an up and coming leader in the industry, a brand that is a subject of current industry buzz, generating consumer and trade excitement; one that is innovating and experimenting with new, interesting trends in winemaking and marketing, and is hiring top performers while attracting great wine talent to their roster.

“We are humbled by this tremendous recognition,” says Sharon Cohn, co-founder of Breathless Wines. “In what has been a very tumultuous year, we are so grateful for our loyal, inspiriting supporters and are honored to be the recipients of this award. Despite the year’s uncertainty, we remain consistent in our original vision and mission for Breathless: to bring beautiful sparkling wines to wine lovers in California and beyond; and maybe a little levity as well. Being named Winery of the Year is such an honor, and we raise a glass to all who have helped Breathless Wines get to this great moment in time. Cheers to the other incredible wineries who were also recognized!”

Founded in 2012, and built by the love of three sisters, and the passion for life that their mother passed down to them, Breathless Wines is truly a family affair. The three sisters, Sharon Cohn, Cynthia Faust, and Rebecca Faust have created a winery which is both a living tribute to their mother, Martha, and a portfolio of stunning wines that celebrate her philosophy — to dream big, live life to the fullest and never take a single breath for granted. The fourth “sister”, winemaker Penny Gadd-Coster, brings years of experience and accolades to the operation. All four women, and their extended team, are dedicated to sparkling winemaking in the traditional method, creating refreshing sparkling wines that are hand-crafted from select Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes using the traditional French méthode champenoise — the same process of tirage, riddling, and disgorging that the great Champagne houses have practiced for centuries.

In its short operating history, the winery has accumulated a slew of awards and accolades each attesting to the quality of its wines and the mastery of its winemaker. These include the Sweepstakes Award  for Best Sparkling & Specialty Wine at the 2018 Sonoma County Harvest Fair for the 2012 Brut, 96 points and Best of Class – Gold Medal at the 2019 Sunset International Wine Competition for the 2012 Brut, 94 points and a Double Gold Medal at the 2019 American Fine Wine Competition for the Blanc de Noirs, 92 Points from Wine Enthusiast Magazine for the Blanc de Blancs, 95 Points and a Double Gold Medal at the 2018 California State Fair for Blanc de Noirs and the Winemaker of the Year Award from the North Bay Business Journal to winemaker Penny Gadd-Coster for Exceptional Still and Sparkling Winemaking Skills.

Breathless Wines works with select vineyards throughout the North Coast of Sonoma County and Mendocino County. Their focus is on sustainability and finding the best grape clones within these choice vineyards.

In honor of their mother, the sisters have also taken an active role in the local community, hosting events for multiple philanthropic causes throughout the year and donating to a variety of charities, including the Alpha-1 Foundation, a nonprofit that is committed to finding a cure for Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency and to improving the lives of people affected by Alpha-1 worldwide; a genetic lung disease that took their mother way before her time.


Breathless Wines is a boutique family winery, founded in 2012 in Healdsburg, CA, by the love of three Sonoma County sisters, Sharon Cohn, Rebecca Faust, and Cynthia Faust, and the passion for life that their mother passed down to them. Along with acclaimed Winemaker Penny Gadd-Coster, the honorary 4th sister, this powerful female-led team is dedicated to crafting refreshing method champenoise sparkling wines that pair perfectly with life’s special moments. Breathless is about celebration and rejoicing the occasions that take one’s breath away. The sparkling and lauded venture is in honor of the sisters’ Mother, Martha, who encouraged dreaming big — and to never take a single breath for granted.


LuxeSF, a B2B organization of sales and marketing practitioners, is considered to be the Bay Area leader in the arena of luxury marketing, and the thought leader for the intelligent exploration of best marketing practices and trends in the luxury marketplace. LuxeSF delivers an extensive program of intimately-exclusive events at which experts in the luxury arena present valuable and relevant proprietary research, trend data and best practices. Attendees network with peers in a private and confidential setting that encourages learning, collaboration and the sharing of information and experiences. In addition, LuxeSF annually facilitates marketing alliances, introductions, collaborations and jointly-sponsored marketing programs by virtue of its broad partner network and extensive databank of Bay Area marketing and sales influentials.

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