by Lori Wallace

LODI (CBS13) — A Lodi winery is supporting research for the coronavirus with a new wine that has a fitting name.    

“Going Viral,” a merlot, is a unique collaboration between a father and daughter. It’s not a wine you might expect at Michael David winery, but it comes with a lot of history.

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“Lodi isn’t really known for merlot but this is off a family vineyard that my grandmother grew up on,” owner Michael Phillips said.

Phillips said it’s a 2018 vintage merlot that took about two years to bottle and release. Initially, this wine had nothing to do with COVID-19, the cool label is actually a design of a protein connected to a respiratory disease his daughter was working on. Dr. Rebecca Phillips-DuBois is a virologist and assistant professor of biomolecular engineering at UC Santa Cruz.

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But, timing is everything, and when the pandemic emerged, the wine was ready to be released.

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“So we did a twist to not make a profit for the winery, but for a good cause,” Phillips said.

All the money from this wine will now go to coronavirus research and testing that DuBois is working on.

“What I’m interested in doing is testing levels of antibodies. This is going to be important for surveillance to understand how many people in our community actually got coronavirus,” she said.

Moving forward, the goal is to sell all 750 cases of Going Viral that have been made to speed up the process for DuBois and hopefully get more answers.

“This is just really a wonderful blessing because, um yeah, science research takes money, and getting funding through traditional routes can really take a long time and that can slow down research progress. So, to be able to get money right away to push research forward is really wonderful,” she said.

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The wine is available on their website and can be purchase at the winery in Lodi for $28 a bottle.