Gramofon Wine Story

Gramofon Wine Story

Dealu Mare vineyard region  is “home” for a range on wineries. In this small are are located a lot of wineries and Gramofon Wine is among the wineries here.

I wanted to know more about the story of Gramofon Wine so I talked to Marcel Pascu, one of the owners of the winery. I leave the interview with Marcel below with the mention that it is worth reading in a moment of relaxation when you want a little inspiration to go to a cool place to enjoy both some wine, an event in the vineyard, or, why not, a holiday at the winery!

Carmina Nițescu: Hi Marcel. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions for Winesday App users. To begin with, please tell me the story of the emergence of the Gramofon Wine winery: how did you come up with the idea, how did things take shape, where does the name come from?

Marcel Pascu:
Let's start with the beginning. I like "life in the country" because that's where I was born and grew up until I was 10 years old when I entered the 5th grade at the Music School in Ploiești. From then until a few years ago, music was part of my life and the stage used to be the place where I felt the best. But in my subconscious remained the fresh air of the "country", the walks with the carriage and sleigh, the meadow, the forest, the river, etc.

After traveling in "large and small countries", in 2010, in the desire to stay at least from time to time in an environment with fresh air, together with my wife and two boys we bought a "mansion", as we like to say, actually a small house built in the interwar period in a neo-Branco style. Because we also wanted some activity, we also bought the 10-hectare vineyard around the house. And so the ball rolled, I purchased another 15 hectares and became a small wine grower.

The name of  “Gramofon Wine” winery was born from the friendship with the oenologist Gabi Lăcureanu and came naturally, taking into account my connection with music, and not least the connection with music of Gabi, our consultant, a side of him that few know.

Just as a vinyl record hides behind it: sound engineer, technicians, conductor, musicians, so a bottle of wine hides behind it an entire team: winegrower, pickers, technicians, oenologist, etc., and a piece of music, just like a bottle of wine you always feel it differently depending on the mood, friends around, etc

Carmina: What was and when was the first wine signed by Gramofon Wine launched? Can you tell me a little about the grape varieties grown and the wine ranges you have today?

Our first wines appeared in 2015. There were 4000 liters each of Sauvignon Blanc, Fetească Regală and Merlot. But our wine that helped us to be quickly noticed was Feteasca Neagră 2016, so in the second year of winemaking. Vinified in the Amarone style, the grapes being picked after the grapes have been raisined, we obtained a wine with 16.5 alcohol, semidry. Since that moment, Fetesca Neagră Gramofon Wine has been appreciated year after year, the most eloquent proof is that every time it is sold-out, until the next year comes out. In 2022 the wine palette is complete, we have Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Fetească Regală, Muscat Ottonel, Merlot, Fetească Neagră and some highly appreciated blends. If in 2015 we vinified 12,000 liters, today we reached 120,000 liters.

In 2019, I met Marcel Vulpoi, who, after tasting the Gramofon Wine wines, proposed a 50% - 50% partnership, as he has the ability to develop the necessary marketing to enter the wine market and located among our "premium" wineries. Which is what happened. And I am convinced that the upward trend in sales will continue and we will end up being on every wine lover's table.

Carmina: We know that Gramofon Wine constantly presents its wines at the events you organize at the winery. I know that for several years you have made a tradition out of certain events that happen right in the vineyard: "Blooming of the vine", "Aguridă Party" and "Must party" which happen every year in the same periods. Please tell me more about what these events are like, who  are they for, how long they last, what they include and what to expect for those who haven't attended yet.

We regularly organize events at the winery, in the middle of the vineyard, with guests who are passionate about wine and selected dishes, platters with cheeses and fine cold meats, food prepared in the cauldron, barbecues, etc., lots of fun, good mood, live music. If at the beginning 50-60 people participated, at the last event there were 200. The fun starts around 2 pm and ends late at night with the now famous bonfire.

For those staying in our wonderful cottages or in the area, the super omelette prepared by chef Marcel Vulpoi should not be missed in the morning.

Carmina: I saw that in addition to the events that have already become "traditional", this year you are introducing new event themes. On July 8th 2023, "Gramofon, Jazz & more" will take place and I heard that you are going to make a big surprise for those present at this event. What is it all about?

Yes, there will be a surprise. With this event, a dream of ours is fulfilled: to bring reference names of Romanian and international music and jazz to the Gramofon Wine stage. I hope this is just the beginning, in the future we intend to organize even bigger festivals under the auspices of Gramofon Wine.

The event we are talking about is called "Gramofon Jazz & More" and it takes place at the Gramofon Winery in Mocesti village, Iordacheanu commune, Prahova county on July 8, 2023 starting at 2 p.m.

Two projects will be presented:
  • Alex Sipiagin Quartet feat. Melissa Tham
  • Gramophone Special Crew
ALEX SIPIAGIN is a virtuoso trumpeter and one of the most creative musicians on the worlds’ contemporary jazz scene.

Established in New York in 1990 - after winning the Louis Armstrong International Competition (sponsored by the Thelonious Monk Institute in Washington DC) - Alex Sipiagin collaborated with artists such as Michael Brecker, Chris Potter, Eric Clapton and the Gil Evans, George Gruntz, Mingus Big Band orchestras , Thelonious Monk Big Band, Dave Holland Big Band.

In 2003, he recorded with Michael Brecker's Quindectet and toured with the Michael Brecker Sextet. He has also collaborated with Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Aaron Neville, Elvis Costello, Michael Franks, Dave Sanborn, Deborah Cox, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and the legendary producer Phil Ramone.

He recorded more than 15 albums as a soloist and participated as a guest in numerous projects led by the most important musicians of the world jazz scene. His collaborations have been crowned with numerous awards, including a Grammy.

Alex Sipiagin is also appreciated as a university professor: he teaches at New York University (NYU) and holds courses at the Amsterdam Conservatory (Netherlands) or the Basel Academy of Music (Switzerland).

And because I really miss the stage, together with the trumpet player Sebastian Burneci I initiated a new project, GRAMOFON SPECIAL CREW

The musical initiative is joined by pianist Johnny Bica, trombonist Florian Radu, percussionist Dan Incrosnatu and singer Ioana Constantin.

The newly formed group invites you to listen in the first audition to their original and unique arrangements of the most famous jazz, pop and original songs.

Carmina: Given that there are still two weeks until this event, I will leave here the link to the registration form so that those interested can book places as soon as possible.

Carmina: Regarding visits to wineries, I have noticed in recent years a trend of those who love nature: they come to visit wineries, spend time in the vineyard, enjoy the wine and spend a weekend or a mini-vacation at the winery. I know that since last year you also have 5 cottages in the vineyard which, at least to me, seem idyllic when I think of what an evening in the middle of the vineyard would look like. How did the public receive the news of the accommodation option in these tiny houses? I guess they are booked all the time, not necessarily in the summer season.

Indeed the 5 Tiny Houses in the vineyard of  Gramofon Wine winery are a very attractive point of attraction for wine lovers. Besides, what better way to complete the experience of a visit to the winery than a quiet evening on the terrace of the cottage, in the middle of the vines with a glass of wine.

Not to mention the wonderful feeling of waking up in the morning and the first thing you see are the rows of vines and enjoy a quiet breakfast surrounded by the surrounding peace.

The cottages have proven to be an attraction throughout the year, moreover life at the winery has its beauty in any season.

Carmina: Coming back to the wines, I know that they can be found directly at the winery or on your website in the online store. Apart from these places, where else can wine lovers enjoy Gramofon wines?

Gramofon Wine wines find their way to our customers both online, being a very easy method as you sit quietly at home and the wines make their way to you, as well as in the restaurant area, wine shops, wine bars and in the area of retail.

“Virtuoz” range is our range closest to customers and can be found in the most important supermarket chains – Carrefour, Cora and Mega Image.

In “Gramofon Wine” range, there are wines created in such a way as to accompany different types of culinary dishes - that is precisely why they are very present in the HORECA area, but also in specialized stores and specialized locations.

“Sonorum” range and the “Opus Fabula” range - where we have wines in limited editions, respectively collection wines, is very present in the area of shops and locations specialized in the art of wine. They are generally the wines sought after by wine enthusiasts eager to discover unique approaches to winemaking.

Carmina: Marcel, thank you very much for your answers and I wish you a busy summer at the winery!

Thank you Carmina for your questions and we hope to see you again this summer at the winery to enjoy together another season of stories at Gramofon Wine.

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