The label is called Fledgling and the wines are a Pinot and a Chardonnay. The partner in the project is Crushpad, SF's public, urban winery, where the wine is obviously going to be made. Of the $20 cost ($240 a case), $5 per bottle goes to the charity aimed at improving education in the developing world.
The snarky and hilarious comments piling up beneath the article tell the story from the incredulous tech side of things: "What’s great about this initiative is it shows Twitter’s laser-focus on their business," " I’m all for charity, but when it comes to a business how 'bout making money before you give it away???," and "Did Gary Vaynerchuk come on board as a business strategy consultant?"
From the wine side of things the story is likewise a bit inane. For one, there's little incentive to buy the wine except that it's for charity. With Pinot and Chard being a very region-specific sort of grapes, all we're told is that is the wines come from "top-flight California vineyards" and "a superb vintage." Two, the wine won't be ready until August 2010. So your charitible investment is also one in delayed-gratification. Would it have been better to wait to start the program until the wine was ready? Of course, then if the wine was not great, people might be less inclined to buy it.
All snark aside, though, maybe Fledgling is not a bad idea. After all, Room to Read is a great charity. And perhaps there will be a way for buyers to get involved in the process. Though the Fledgling site says nothing about participation, an SF Weekly story says that "Not only can you buy the wine, you can pitch in a string of related events, ranging from what Dorrance said will be Crushpad's biggest "virtual" barrel tasting to a possible label design contest. Naturally, you can keep up to date on these efforts—as well as get the play-by-play as the Twitter team rolls up its sleeves and makes wine—via the dedicated Twitter account twitter.com/fledgling."
In truth the wine, which was probably harvested and vinified weeks ago, is probably already in barrel. Let's hope the project is successful and raises lots of money for education. And let's hope the wine is good and possess a longer finish than a 140-character tweet.