Sure, there are lots of regions of California where you can give wine tasting a go. But the crowds, extreme expense and layer of snobbery in places such as Napa and Sonoma are enough to turn you off to the hobby altogether. In Baja California, there's a burgeoning wine scene that's free of all that, and it's quickly becoming one of the more desirable places near L.A. to take your wine weekend. Valle de Guadalupe, about an hour and a half southeast of Tijuana, is home to more than 70 wineries that dot the Ruta del Vino. The wines are decent, but the scenery, which has been compared to Tuscany by Anthony Bourdain, makes up for whatever notes of gooseberry you might be missing. Nearby you'll find luxury hotels (La Villa del Valle and Adobe Guadalupe are recommended) and fine dining (Corazón de Tierra is fantastic) for a fraction of what you'd pay in NorCal. Simply put, grab your passport and go. —Ali Trachta

LA Weekly