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When it was time to tell our story, our family vetted several Public Relations firms to search for one with political savvy and courage to stand up for the truth. Kimberly Charles and her team understood the politics that now surround food, and helped us navigate through hundreds of press requests to accurately convey the reality. The process was demanding, but the combination of Charles Communications’ attitude, passion and professionalism allowed us to accomplish our goal with smiles on our faces.
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For SakéOne, Charles Communications has proven to be a savvy, dynamic navigator for both traditional and social media channels. They are particularly adept at converging our brand messaging with new PR opportunities in the beverage alcohol media world.
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A dynamic, intuitive and knowledgeable team, Charles Communications has an incredible understanding of the wine world and its evolution. Experts in consumer marketing and communication, they understand how to improve our positioning in the overall wine world. We are proud to work together on both sides of the Atlantic.
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We want to thank Charles Communications for the great job that they have done for Batasiolo wines. We’ve been able to be in front of journalists we’ve never expected, and this has helped the exposure of Batasiolo in the U.S.
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Charles Communications has been instrumental in the launch of Bunnery Natural Foods. We’re a family-business based out of a small town, and CCA’s relationships and strategies have immensely helped us grow on a more national level. It’s been an honor and pleasure working with them, and we’re thrilled to see what they come up with next.
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We love working with CCA! Kimberly Charles has put together an experienced team that’s focused, connected and has its finger squarely on the pulse of the wine industry. They’ve been integral in helping our brand development, media relations and social media strategy. I strongly recommend CCA!
- Mark McWilliams
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Kimberly Charles and the team at CCA always displayed the enthusiasm and creativity critical to achieving success in Public Relations. Their professionalism and relationships enabled them to move our brand in the desired direction and I look forward to working with CCA in the future.
- Paul J. Englert
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Charles Communications is well respected in the wine industry as one of the leading public relations and communication consultants. Wente Family Estates became a client of CCA, and immediately saw the results and outreach they were able to achieve in multiple forms of media (print, broadcast and social). Kimberly and her team are creative, strategic and energetic in delivering our company’s public relations goals and needs. It has been a successful relationship and a pleasurable experience to work with them.
- Carolyn Wente
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We searched high and low for a marketing firm with deep experience in the food and beverage industry to handle public relations and media for our global series of wine events, Matter of Taste. Over the past year, the CCA team has done an outstanding job for us, providing valuable insights and media traction in each of our targeted markets, as well as introductions and connections beyond the scope of our work agreement. We are delighted with CCA and look forward to ongoing collaboration.
- Tobin Finegold
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CCA’s well thought out strategic communications initiatives have provided us with successful campaigns that have generated incredible coverage and engagement with top-flight media, trade, industry and consumers. The strong relationships that the team has with key influencers have been critical in providing us with the opportunities to communicate our story. It is a pleasure to work with CCA and we appreciate the innovative and dedicated ethic that they bring to our relationship.
- Camron King

Charles Communications Associates

CCA is an independent creative marketing firm that employs traditional public relations and new media strategies to assist companies, organizations and non-profits in the creation, development and marketing of interesting and compelling brands. Recognized as one of the most effective PR firms in the wine industry, we have an exceptional track record of promoting products in the gourmet, natural and organic food and beverage categories, from wine and tea to top shelf spirits and luxury goods. We consider ourselves fortunate to work with clients who share our philosophy of social responsibility in work and everyday life.

In The News

Emeritus Vineyards Announces New Winemaker
Emeritus Vineyards Announces New Winemaker
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The Juice

‘Certified Independent Craft’ Logo Already on Half of Al
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About a quarter of American craft brewers have signed an agreement to use the new logo.
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All the Swirl

Scottish Gin
Scottish Gin

By: Hillary Lyons

Summer is in full swing and you know what that means: it’s gin & tonic season. Though we typically associate gin with the English, the G&T has taken the world by storm in recent years and Scotland is stepping in to slake our thirst.*

I know what you’re thinking: hold up, Scotland’s the land of whisky! In fact, Scotch gin dates back to the 1600s, when the Dutch first introduced Edinburgh to gin’s close cousin genever. When taxes on imported spirits rose, local entrepreneurs began crafting their own. It was only in the late 1800s that whisky came to dominate the domestic distilling industry and it’s maintained a stronghold ever since. But strict regulations around the aging of this amber spirit, coupled with the proliferation of craft distilleries throughout the UK, has led distillers to find innovative ways to sustain their companies through this long aging process.

Rolling out the barrels at Eden Mill Distillery. Photo compliments of The Guardian.

Rolling out the barrels at Eden Mill Distillery. Photo compliments of The Guardian.

The law dictates that Scotch whisky must be barrel aged for at least three years, and as you can imagine, the start-up costs of distilling are not small. Besides ingredients, there’s the cost of copper stills, well aged barrels, bottles and much more to consider. Since gin requires the same equipment, some distillers have decided to experiment with botanicals both traditional and unconventional to bring in shorter term revenue. Little did they know the craft gin market would explode. The boom in demand for artisanal spirits has led gin to excel in Scotch country to the point that 70% of all British gin is made in Scotland, making it the world’s leading producer.

To be called gin, the spirit must be infused with three core botanicals: juniper berries, coriander seed for spice, and angelica root which acts as a binding agent. London dry gin (such familiar labels as Gordon’s or Tanqueray, both of which produce most of their spirit in Scotland) is considered the purist’s gin, containing only these three botanicals, but gins today can contain up to 47 different herbs and spices (how Monkey 47 get its name).

Various botanicals for gin distilling. Photo compliments of Gin Foundry.

Various botanicals for gin distilling. Photo compliments of Gin Foundry.

How it works is distillers simply suspend a hessian bag or sachet of their botanical blend in the still. Given Scotland’s lush hills and lochs, woods and coastline, there are endless botanicals to choose from. Not to mention, the focus on sourcing locally and using natural ingredients greatly appeals to the millennial market. Johnny Forsyth, Mintel drinks analyst, notes of this trend, “Gin was in the right place at the right time.”

Gin, unlike whisky can go from vat to glass in a matter of weeks, so not only are the distilleries able to hit the market with product faster, but (as with beer) they’re able to toy with their infusion and perfect their blends much more rapidly. As Scott Fergusson, Eden Mill’s head distiller says, “I spend lots of time thinking about recipes that will work, you’re free to experiment and you can taste the effects in a matter of days. So, if it needs a bit more pepper, for example, you can change the results quickly. It’s made the job much more fun.”

A line up of some of the best Scottish distilleries, large and small. Photo compliments of The Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

A line up of some of the best Scottish distilleries, large and small. Photo compliments of The Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

To kick start your summer sipping, here are a few of our favorite Scottish gins (just be sure to pair them with the perfect tonic, a house favorite of Charles Communications is Fever Tree which makes both a standard and a light version for you carb counters ):

·      Eden Mill – Playing with unusual infusions such as their hop gin or ‘love gin’ (which uses rhubarb, raspberry and hibiscus to impart a delicate pink color and bright fruit flavors), Eden Mill is one of the pioneers of Scottish craft gins. With their creative, balanced combinations, these gins hold up on their own or make for complex G&Ts.

·      Arbikie Highland Estate – Arbikie is a fourth-generation, family-owned working farm first and distillery second. The estate farms their own wheat and many of their own botanicals (others are locally sourced by Master Distiller Kirsty Black) to produce gins that give a true sense of the Scottish terroir.

·      Teasmith Gin – In true British fashion, this distillery celebrates its region’s history as a key port in the tea trade by infusing their gin with handpicked black tea. Paired with mint and a delicate tonic, this gin makes for one delectably refreshing G&T on a hot summer day.

* For the cocktail historians out there, we recommend a fabulous book on the history of this quintessentially British beverage by our friend Camper English titled Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.


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