Due to Omicron, wine nonprofit postpones March festival to May

The pandemic strikes again.

Organizers of the nonprofit Cincinnati International Wine Festival are delaying this year’s event from March 3 to May 19.

The decision to postpone was made in hopes that the recent Omicron variant surge will subside by May. Tickets for the 2022 festival will go on sale March 1.

Patrons enjoying the Cincinnati Wine Festival in 2019. The event was canceled in both 2020 and 2021.

“Because the health and well-being of our attendees, winery partners, vendors and volunteers are of our upmost concern, this latest surge of the pandemic led us to rethink our timing of the festival this year,” said festival executive director Brad Huberman. “But please rest assured, this May, we will be bringing back the high-quality, in-person celebration of wine you have missed the past couple of years.”

The event, which is in its 31st year and helps fund more than 30 local charities, is actually multiple events in one:

  • Winery Dinner Series is hosted at upscale restaurants across the city, previously March 3, now May 19.
  • Grand Tastings is the big event at the Duke Energy Convention Center, now May 20-21.
  • Charity Auction and Luncheon, previously planned for March 5, is now May 21 at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza.

While the wine festival’s in-person grand tasting experiences were cancelled in both 2020 and 2021, organizers got creative last year by offering an exclusive “at home” wine experience called “Cincy Wine Fest @ Home,” in lieu of in-person events. The one-time virtual event offered guests an upscale, personalized food and wine tasting from the comfort of their homes.

Select smaller scale events were postponed to late in the year, but still held, including a special fall edition of the winery dinner series and charity auction and luncheon last September, and the Russ Wiles Memorial Golf Tournament last August.

Proceeds from these annual events benefit the Cincinnati International Wine Festival’s 30+ local charity partners focused on the arts, education, and health and human services. The festival has raised and donated more than $6.5 million to local charities since its inception in 1991.

Find more details, view the updated event schedule, and purchase tickets beginning March 1 at winefestival.com.

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