Crush without the crowds

Experience the harvest in Lodi's friendly wine country

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SHOP:

Phillips Farms. WHAT: A diverse roadside farmstand offers one-stop shopping. Taste Michael-David Winery's 7 Deadly Zins at the tasting counter, select Halloween pumpkins, or sample a yummy pumpkin milkshake. WHEN: 7:30-5 daily. HOW MUCH: Free tastings. WHERE: 4580 W. State 12, 1½ miles east of I-5; 888/707-9463.


DRINK:

Vino Piazza. WHAT: Twelve small wineries (plus a new Thai restaurant) with winemaking facilities and tasting rooms radiating from one plaza. WHEN: Most are open 1-5 Sat-Sun. HOW MUCH: Free tastings. WHERE: 12470 Locke Rd., Lockeford; www.vinopiazza.com or 800/939-2566.

Jessie's Grove Winery. WHAT: A friendly winery with picnic tables, historic family photos, and tasty Zinfandel. WHEN: 11-4 daily. HOW MUCH: Free tastings. WHERE: 1973 W. Turner Rd.; www.jgwinery.com or 209/368-0880.

INFO: Taste of Lodi festival (1-4 Oct 9; $35; www.tasteoflodi.com or 800/798-1810). Lodi is about 40 miles south of Sacramento on I-5 or State 99.

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