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Twitter to squeeze the wine business for charity

Microblogging site is suddenly selling vino--on pre-order--via its Fledgling Wine brand. Part of the proceeds will be spent to help reduce illiteracy worldwide.

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For your non sequitur of the day...

In an attempt to boost literacy rates around the world, Twitter has launched a wine label with San Francisco-based winery Crushpad.

The label is dubbed Fledgling Wine. In addition to its Web site, the self-described "social winemaking venture" has a Twitter page too that just kicked in minutes ago.

"As a company that's only one percent into its journey, we're always thinking about our long term impact on the world," Twitter co-founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone wrote on Fledgling Wine's home page. "The Fledgling Initiative embodies two things that are at the core of Twitter's mission: providing access to information and highlighting the power of open communication to bring about positive change."

For now, Fledgling Wine is available only as a pre-order--pinot noir or chardonnay. The wine will be bottled in August 2010. In the meantime, anyone interested in buying Twitter's 750ml bottles of wine can pay $20. According to Stone and Williams, $5 from the proceeds "will be donated to Room to Read, a transformational non-profit that brings books, libraries and ultimately literacy to people in the poorest areas around the world." The remaining $15 will be used for production costs.

Twitter's co-founders said they believe Fledgling Wine will help Twitter as well. They reason that "if you can't read, you can't Tweet!"

The news was first reported by San Francisco Weekly.