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Wine & Chocolate Sets Out for New York City for the Third Time by Sailboat

17th November 2021
Grain de Sail Cargo Sailboat
Grain de Sail Cargo Sailboat on her way to America

This time it's around 10,000 bottles of organic French wine that began the same epic fossil-fuel-free voyage across the Atlantic Ocean as last Spring 2021 and Fall 2020. Bound for New York City again, the wine and chocolate are signature products of the innovative company Grain de Sail, located in Brittany in France. Look out for this unique cargo as it passes the Statue of Liberty upon arrival in New York Harbor in three weeks.

The company’s Cargo Sailboat, with a capacity of 26 pallets, is currently sailing for the third time to ship gastronomic goods to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. The 72-foot aluminium schooner is moving only under the power of the wind and succeeded in using only 6 L of diesel last spring to go from St-Malo, Brittany to New York City, reducing by 50 the carbon footprint compared to classic conventional cargo ships.

Touring the Vessel in NYC

Upon arrival in New York City, expected around December 12, 2021, the vessel will dock for approximately ten days at the One15 Marina in Brooklyn Bridge Park. After touring the sailboat and learning more about the project adventure, a tasting of some of the wines and chocolate that have sailed across the Atlantic may unfold on deck. You can book your slot with a group of 6 people max on Eventbrite. Please contact us for the registration link.

The Back Story

The Grain de Sail story began in 2010 when founder Olivier Barreau set himself a challenge: to transport merchandise efficiently by sail. To achieve this, he first chose to create a business that would directly benefit from the investment. So, he set up a coffee-roasting company in 2013, then opened a chocolate factory in 2016, and finally started building a sailboat in 2018. Each of these ventures is successful and consistent with the underlying mission: coffee and cocoa are raw organic crops that come from overseas and have high added value once processed.

Following the success of the two first transatlantic trips and with the demand growing faster than expected, with an annual revenues of 8 million euros, the company will launch the building of a second Cargo Sailboat in the beginning of 2022. Twice the size of her sister and with ten times the capacity for transportation, Grain de Sail II will be one of her kind!

The Sailing Route – A Caribbean Connection & a New Partnership

What is the route? The vessel first transits the Atlantic from France to New York City with a cargo of organic and biodynamic wines and chocolate. It then proceeds south to the Caribbean to reach the Dominican Republic.

For the first time, Grain de Sail will not be empty on this leg as the company is launching a partnership with the AFYA Foundation, a NY non-profit foundation collecting unused medical supplies from the NY metro area and shipping them to under-resourced health systems all around the globe. For this new adventure, AFYA will donate the medical supplies and Grain de Sail will donate the shipping of 20 pallets of critically needed medical supplies from NYC to the Dominican Republic.

Once in the Caribbean, she picks up the raw materials for coffee and chocolate production and then sails back to France where chocolate and coffee are produced at the company’s factory. The round trips take more than three months to complete and occur twice a year.

About the Crew

The ship’s crew welcome a new sailor in addition to Goulwen Josse, master, Julia Guérin, Deck Officer & François le Naourès, sailor and mediaman, in the person of Edouard Texereau, Chief Mate. Each crew member is trained in crisis management, and when it comes to communication, the vessel is equipped with everything found on a classic cargo freighter.

More About the Cargo Sailboat

One thing is sure, Grain de Sail is not your great grandfather’s sailboat. Consistent with its environmentally friendly mission, wind turbines, photovoltaic panels, and hydro generators meet the vessel’s onboard energy needs. The 72-foot aluminum schooner moves under the power of more than 3,767 square feet of sail area, with seven sails maintaining an average speed of 8 knots upwind. The ship’s hull is designed for 26 pallets of cargo. Once loaded through deck hatches, the cargo is secured in a hold featuring temperature and hygrometry stabilization – the world's first purpose-built floating wine cellar under sail.

Published in News Update Team

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