Slattery Vintage Estates (SVE) is tucked between Lincoln and Omaha in Rural Cass County. It offers a great place for guests to escape for the evening or overnight. The Slattery family has worked hard to create this unique place that is truly a labor of love.
In the late 1990s, Barb and Mike Slattery were looking for a place to get away from the city and wanted a place for Mike to bow hunt. Mike loved the turkey and deer that roamed the property. At the time, Mike was an attorney and public defender for Cass County and Barb was a grant writer for Creighton University. They lived in Plattsmouth and would commute.
Barb and Mike had always enjoyed wine and heard that people were growing grapes in Nebraska, so they went to the Nebraska Winery and Grape Growers Association meeting. In 2000, they planted their own vineyard and added the house in 2006. They currently have three acres in their vineyard, and their granddaughter Ellie also helps them with the grapes.
Winemaker Phil Simpson of Silver Hills Winery in Tekamah makes the grapes into wine and sells it back to them. Because Slattery Vintage Estates is a vineyard, they can sell all kinds of alcohol, so they have many different choices at their Tasting Room. Their vineyard’s wine is St Brigid Blend. The Slatterys grow Norton grapes, which are unusual to the area because they are a Missouri grape, but because SVE is far enough south the grapes can still grow on their land. Norton grapes are sometimes called the “Cabernet of the Ozarks.”
Originally, they thought about making a bed and breakfast on the land, but things changed, and they eventually decided against it after some obstacles. The Tasting Room was plan B, but it worked out for the best. A few years later they added “glamping” and now guests stay in the bungalows on the estate. Barb said, “This wasn’t our dream. But, it has evolved into more and more. We take a lot of pride in what we do here.”
Glamping season at SVE runs from May through October. They have five bungalows equipped with antique beds, nightstands, rugs, lamps, and a coffee pot. There is also a shared outdoor shower and toilet. There isn’t air conditioning, but there are fans, and in the cooler months, they offer electric blankets on the bed. The bungalows are raised and have screens to keep bugs out, but they also don’t have many mosquitos on the property because of the swallows and fish in the pond. Upon arrival, glampers can check into their site and grab some drinks, and then they can cook their campfire hobo packs on their own grill or get a wood-fired pizza from the Tasting Room on the weekends.
Barb and Mike’s daughter Sarah is the head chef at Slattery Vintage Estates. Sarah originally graduated from Creighton with a degree in graphic design, but then went onto Metropolitan Community College Institute for the Culinary Arts and graduated in 2011. Sarah creates the menus for the Tasting Room and for Heritage Hall, their reception venue. She described her cuisine style as upscale comfort food, crafting the menus based on what’s in season and what sounds fun to make️. Sarah, who caters all of the events, said, “We do wood fired pizzas during concerts, sometimes we do themed wine dinners, and we do festivals, as well, like our annual Cajunfest where I make New Orleans style foods including my famous bread pudding. In the cold months, we have our award-winning French Onion Soup, which placed second at the 2020 VNA Art & Soup Contest.”
Sarah loves that she can work with her parents at Slattery Estates. “Sarah has her niche. We all have our niches,” Barb said.
Barb runs the Tasting Room and she makes sure that all the guests feel special. Barb enjoys hearing their stories and appreciates it when they return to visit again.
It is rare to find a female-owned and operated business, and SVE also has a female chef. Sarah says that the staff at SVE are all like family. They are loyal and most of them have worked on the property since they opened.
Whether glamping or just stopping out for an evening, guests will enjoy the stunning landscape, the food and drinks, and the way that the staff at Slattery Vintage Estates treats everyone like family while they are there.