How about taking part in an adventure aboard a Modern cargo French sailboat, where you can have great wines from notable winemakers? Recently, an innovative vessel, Grain de Sail stocked with French goods, including organic wines, coffees, and chocolates, arrived in Brooklyn for a short stay. When the boat docked in New York City, visitors enjoyed visiting the sailboat for a free tour and tasting.
During the vessel’s two-week stay in port, about 450 people booked tours aboard. As a result, guests had the opportunity to learn more about the vessel’s advanced green transit features. Plus, they could enjoy Grain de Sail’s signature wines with a slice of cheese and baguette. What’s more, they were also able to take home a souvenir chocolate bar of their choosing. Matthieu Riou, Grain de Sail’s U.S. Wines and Spirits Director, confirmed that all chocolate bar samples and bottles of wine consumed during the stay.
All wines were put through a taste-resiliency test. The testing involved placing bottles in cargo sailboats for around three weeks at sea. Next, it involved tasting them at various intervals on return. At first, the test is generally upon returning to the harbour, followed by a week, and then another two weeks after that. Their wines also underwent malolactic fermentation. In this context, Grain de Sail explained that it is a process of winemaking mainly used in Burgundies and Chardonnays and gives the wines a creamy, buttery taste.
Designed for 26 pallets of cargo, the boat’s hull was well insulated and clocked in at between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius. Riou stated that the temperature setting kept the wine at an appropriate temperature for travel. Moreover, the pallets are secured with hygrometry stabilization, making the sailboat the world’s first purpose-built floating wine cellar under sail.
The sailboat left Brooklyn on May 26. It is said to proceed south to the Dominican Republic. Once landing there after about a week on the water, the plan was to pick up organic coffee and cocoa beans.
Grain de Sail is all set to design a second cargo sailboat. Experts state that it will be twice the size of the current bark and will be able to hold around 250 pallets of cargo. The cargo sailboat will be operational by 2023, and make the roughly three-month round trip twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall. The ultimate goal of the company’s founders is to build a fleet of cargo sailboats to pursue the search for high-quality products within its maritime, human, and environmental adventure.
As Grain de Sail’s founder Olivier Barreau noted, for their cargo sailboat, they were retro-innovating by using ancestral wind navigation combined with modern technologies.