1. Like them apples?
You'll smell the fritters, strudel, dumplings, and pies before Abel's Apple Acres even comes into sight (just a slight exaggeration). On weekends and holidays, let the kids navigate a maze made of 600 hay bales ($2) or ride the ponies ($4) while you unwind near the tri-tip barbecue ($). Through Dec 24; 2345 Carson Rd., Placerville; abelsappleacres.
2. Taste blood-orange olive oil
Plus rosemary, garlic, and Meyer lemon. Sample these extra-virgin varieties at Winterhill. Yes, we love the oil but also the bottles' labels, drawn by developmentally disabled local artists. Buy an empty (from $5), or BYO for a 40 percent discount. From $14 for 250 ml.; 321 Main St., Placer-ville; winterhillfarms. com or 530/626-6369.
3. Swirl wine
Four Sierra Foothills wineries have tasting rooms at Camino Wine Plaza, about 6 miles east of Placerville. Chat up the winemakers while you sip their specialties: Syrah and Zinfandel from Auriga Wine Cellars, Pino-tage and Petit Verdot at Illuminare Winery, Malbec and Tempranillo at Garnet Sun Winery, and Pinot Noir at Findleton Estate & Winery. The free Sunday concerts wrap up with Late for Dinner (Oct 5) and the Parrot-heads (Oct 12). Free tastings; 3500 Carson Rd., Camino.
4. U-pick pumpkins
The O'Hallorans raised five kids--and pumpkins--on 30-acre O'Halloran's Apple
Trail Ranch. Pick your own through this month, then work off Abel's apple-pie mania by walking the milelong trail that winds through their orchards--apples but also pears, once the area's primary crop. Through Dec; 2261 Cable Rd.; Camino; 530/644-3389.
Getting to Placerville
From Sac, take U.S. 50 east to State 49/Spring St. Turn right; Spring turns into Main St. More info: placer ville-downtown.org or applehill.com
Take it home
Half-bushels (20 pounds) of Rome Beauty and Golden Delicious apples for pies, jams, candying--or just plain snacking-- from Argyres Orchard. The only way to taste the fruit is to pluck it yourself. Get Concord grapes off the vine too. Avoid traffic by catching a free weekend shuttle (530/644-7692) at the Schnell School Rd. exit (48) or the Cedar Grove exit (54) off U.S. 50. Sat-Sun through Oct; $8 per half-bushel; 4220 N. Canyon Rd., Camino; 530/644-3862.
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|Title Annotation:||Day trip|
|Date:||Oct 1, 2008|
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