He considers his wife Sylvia to be his right hand, and she was on board with the project from the start. They purchased property just off De Portola Road and opened Masia de Yabar Winery in November of 2008. With the help of winemakers Benny Rodriguez and Steve Andrews, they offered Cabernet Sauvgnon, Tempranillo, Garnacha (Grenache), Monastrell (Mourvedre), Syrah, Zinfandel and Viognier from the Temecula and South Coast appellations and Malbec from Argentina. Weekend visitors are treated to live music and tapas are available for purchase. “We like food, we like music, we like to dance. That’s what we’re trying to do here.”
Although he still practices dentistry, wine is in Wilmer’s blood. He studied viticulture at UC Davis and wine-making at Mt. San Jacinto College and San Diego State. “Wine gets into your soul little by little and becomes a passion.” His vision includes making Crianza style wines that will age at least on year in oak and another year in bottle. He notes Temecula has Italian, Rhône, Bordeaux and Argentinean wines and he wants to introduce Spanish wines to the region.
In Old Town Temecula, Wilmer is partners with Waleed Jouzy and fellow dentist Carlos Rivas at Viva Vino!, formerly Masia de Yabar Urban Winery. Keeping the Latin theme, Viva Vino! not only offers wines from Masia de Yabar and Viñas de Yabar, but also offerings from Argentina, Chile, Peru and Spain. You can also partake in salsa dancing, enjoy tapas and live music. As we were parting, Wilmer made a point of thanking his team: Diana, Debbie, Alana, Julianne and Gustavo and says they make his job that much easier. In my eyes, Wilmer Yabar has succeeded in his effort to provide the ambience and romance of the Latin culture to Temecula Wine Country.
Masia de Yabar Winery – 39788 Camino Arroyo Seco, Temecula, CA – (951) 303-3860
Viva Vino! – 41955 5th Street, Temecula, CA – (951) 506-5953