ABOUT DREADNOUGHT WINES

DREADNOUGHT WINES HISTORY

April 1st, 1980 (yes, we know) Dreadnought Wines was created by two wild and crazy guys from Alaska, who thought privatization  of wine sales would happen at any moment. They brought in boutique wines not available in the PLCB stores. This gave Pittsburgh wine enthusiasts a way to buy new and interesting wines from an informed retailer in a funky space.

In 1986 Mike Gonze, the current President, purchased Dreadnought Wines, continued its mission of selling boutique interesting wines from around the world to the public. In 1992, he partnered with Deb Mortillaro, and launched The Butler’s Secret, a retail store, to expand the non-wine component of the business by adding wine accessories and Riedel stemware. Responding to the demands of their clients, in 1995 Mike and Deb created Palate Partners to market their gift baskets and to promote wine appreciation classes.  In 2015 Dreadnought Wines moved to a larger facility in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh to accommodate the growing number of students who were anxious to learn more about wine.

Several experts teach wine appreciation classes, deliver seminars and conduct corporate events throughout the Pittsburgh area and beyond.

As Mike and Deb travel and visit new wineries, Dreadnought Wine’s selection expands with wines from around the world, which are appreciated by wine connoisseurs both locally and throughout the United States.

In 2009, Mike and Deb started Soiree Partners delivery service so that Dreadnought Wine’s sought after wines could be legally transported to weddings, corporate events, and restaurants in Pittsburgh and in Philadelphia. Soiree’s personalized service ensures that corporate or personal event will be worry free. For Soiree’s commercial customers, we take away the time and risk associated with transportation of liquor.

To this day, Dreadnought Wines continues its mission of educating the public, and selling unique wines from around the world realizing that an informed wine consumer is our best customer.

Our Family of Companies:

MEET THE TEAM

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MIKE GONZE

MIKE GONZE

PRESIDENT

President of Dreadnought Imports, LTD, the successful 35+ year old wine and spirit importing company representing boutique wines and spirits from around the world.  Mike is co-owner of Palate Partners. Mike has studied wine in the US and abroad. WSET Level 3 in wine, WSET Level 1 in spirits, certified by French Wine Academy and the Wine Academy of Spain.

   

DEB MORTILLARO

DEB MORTILLARO

OWNER, PARTNER

Deb moved into the wine business after 15 years as a private chef. Her professional drive within not only Dreadnought Wines but also in the other two companies (Palate Partners and Soiree Partners) housed on 3401 Liberty Avenue offers any customer the best experience. Graduated with honors from the Culinary Institute of America, WSET Level 3 in wine, WSET Level 1 in spirits. Completed WSET Educator Training Program.

   

JOHN TOLER

JOHN TOLER

PHILLY CONNECTION, SALES

After attending Davidson College and a career in advertising, John Toler chose to follow his dream of owning a restaurant and graduated from Philadelphia’s The Restaurant School (now Walnut Hill College). During that process, he realized his passion for wine and learned that he had a keen palate. He managed a few restaurants in Philadelphia before taking a position with Total Wine based in his home state of Delaware. At the time, Total Wine was an emerging retail operation with three large stores but, with Toler as the Senior Wine Manager, it expanded into five states with 13 stores within four years. He then moved to the distribution side of the industry and accepted a position with New York based Lauber Imports as the person to spearhead their entry into the Pennsylvania market. He has been a Wine Distributor in Pennsylvania and Delaware for seventeen years. When he’s not selling (or drinking) wine, he is an accomplished singer and pianist.

   

LAUREN RAZO

LAUREN RAZO

GIFTING GURU

Lauren is the Gifting Guru that keeps on giving. Recently graduating with her BSBA in Marketing & Human Resources, she brings fresh insight as well as several years of exceptional customer service to the team.

She uses her personality and creativity to provide unique and boutique gifts for our corporate and private customers alike. Not only does Lauren hand-craft many of our amazing boxes and baskets herself, she also runs everyone’s favorite Wine of the Every Other Month Club!

   

CARRIE ROBERTSON

CARRIE ROBERTSON

SPECIAL SERVICES COORDINATOR

With over 17 years of hospitality experience, Carrie assists in several areas of coordination, oversees office management and special services for Dreadnought Wines. She is WSET Wine Level one and Spirits level one certified. She’s another helping hand and educated team member to our customers!

   

ASHLEY HAVERLACK

ASHLEY HAVERLACK

MASTER OF MARKETING

After bouncing between the Fashion and Beauty industries in New York and San Francisco, Ashley landed here with us in The ‘Burgh.

She brings almost a decade of Public Relations, Social Media and Marketing experience to the team. Her eye for design and fast-paced work-style keep us all on track and looking our best.  

When our bi-coastal branding addict isn’t busy being our biggest cheerleader you can find her rummaging through her collections of vinyl records and vintage decor

   

PALATE PARTNERS
SCHOOL OF WINE & SPIRITS

CLASSES, EVENTS, GIFTS
& ROOM RENTALS 

 

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SOIREE PARTNERS
WE BRING THE BAR

EVENT, LICENSEE,
DISTRIBUTOR & DELIVERIES

 

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“My wife and I LOVE your wines so much we have stopped buying from anyone else. Keep up the great work!”

– Maria & Neil, Pittsburgh, PA

WHAT’S HAPPENING

Happy Birthday to us!

April 1st is Easter, April Fool's Day and Dreadnought Wines birthday! 38 candles on the cake this year. Why the name Dreadnought? The name was picked because in the boardroom that the founders were meeting in there was a John Stobart painting of the Dreadnought on the...

Holiday Hours

2017 Tenuta Angoris harvest pics

Our friends at Tenuta Angoris shared with us some of their harvest pics.

Meet the Winemaker – Gary Eberle of Eberle Winery

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Plant yourself on a farm for dinner

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Briton Rob McCaughey counsels independence for Pittsburgh drinkers

by Hal B. Klein, Pittsburgh City Paper "You don't find the snobbery you'd get in other cities." Pittsburgh newcomer Rob McCaughey is a wine and spirits evangelist. The affable Brit spent the last 20 years as a global ambassador of hospitality and beverage management,...

Wine Education Program Coming to Pittsburgh

by Elizabeth Downer, Pittsburgh-Post Gazette Wine education is an essential element in appreciating fine wines. A good introduction are the hundreds of books catering to wine lovers who choose the self-help road to learning about growing grapes, making wine, tasting...

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