Winemaker’s Island Preserve Sold Farms, Ranches, Recreational

McGrew, NE, USA
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Winemaker’s Island Preserve & Ranch

Not far from the “mile high city” of Denver is a sportsman’s paradise.  Located in the heart of the famous North Platte River’s Central Flyway waterfowl migration route, Winemaker’s Island Preserve & Ranch consists of 2,300 continuous acres of prime ground managed for ducks, geese and other water fowl. The island itself is an 800-acre piece of land that stretches for three miles in the split river channels, thus creating six miles of shoreline habitat.

The property is only three hours from Denver & less than 20 miles to Western Nebraska Regional Airport in Scottsbluff. It is also readily accessible via scenic highways 92 and 26 for weekend enjoyment.

For the outdoor sportsman, this property is a recreational dream with duck, geese, turkey and deer hunting.

Winemaker’s Island was developed and created by Sam Sebastiani, a legendary winemaker in Northern California.  In 1992 Sam purchased the 800 acre island on the North Platte River, and began acquiring the surrounding properties, creating the 2,000+ acre ranch as it is today, and started his intensive restoration process. Sam enlisted help from esteemed conservationists from Ducks Unlimited, the Nebraska NRCS plus advice from the Army Corps of Engineers. The property was carefully surveyed, and the lower zones that were once watercourses and marshlands were identified. Sam and his crew dug out many of these areas, recreating marshes, ponds, and connecting waterways similar to what it had been in the days gone by. With the nearby food sources, Winemaker’s Island is a veritable magnet for waterfowl.

Hunting and Habitat Enhancement……

Winemaker’s Island Preserve appears from the sky as a land of lakes and waterways. Power was brought to several ponds and sloughs to provide enough heat to create inviting, steaming open water in the dead of winter. There are now18 ponds connected by undulating streams of warm water. Corn and alfalfa fields are perfectly placed as food sources. Hundreds of thousands of invasive Russian olive trees have been removed, opening up once again room for native grasses and pasture. Only the best trees were left in pockets, strategically placed along established game trails to provide cover. There are now over 18 ponds, numerous waterways, wetlands, and over six miles of river frontage.

Ethical hunting and habitat management have been paramount. Only family and friends hunted the property from 1992 – 2009, and even that was infrequent. In 2010 the ranch was opened to carefully controlled commercial hunting. Hunting parties are moved from zone to zone over the six mile stretch of river, maintaining light hunting pressure on the game. These practices, along with the years of conservation efforts, have created a hunting property that is unparalleled for the sheer numbers of waterfowl species, upland game birds, turkey and deer present on the property. Ducks Unlimited tours Winemaker’s Island Preserve regularly with scientist and conservationists viewing the site as a model for habitat enrichment and cultivated hunting.

The Preserve has been featured by USA Today, American Water Fowler Magazine, Beretta’s Bird Journal and Gray’s Sporting Journal.  Sam has been recognized for his conservation efforts by Ducks Unlimited, The Sierra Club and the US Department of Agriculture.

About the Ranch…

The ranch could be a good investment for someone who wants to use the whole 2,032 acre ranch for farming and livestock, but also allows the flexibility of being able to develop or sell off one or more of the 22 deeded parcels sometime in the future.

In 2015, the ranch produced 595 tons of hay, 1,352 tons of sugar beets, and 181 bushels per acre of corn.  There is great potential for more production.  In addition, 1,500 acres of grazing land supporting 300 head of cattle; and a gravel pit which produces fine, quartz sand used by one of the best golf courses in the region.

The property is fenced and cross fenced with over 900 acres of irrigated meadows.  In addition, there are 7 domestic wells and 3 irrigation wells on the property.  (320 pivoted acres.)

This is an incredible opportunity to own a turn-key ranch and recreational area with strong production history.  All equipment to operate the ranch is for sale, but not included in the price.

About the area….

The property is located in western Nebraska in Scotts Bluff County, in a highly productive area in terms of cattle and agriculture. The Scotts Bluff area is known for its incredible vistas and rock formations. Chimney Rock and neighboring Jailhouse Rock provide an iconic backdrop for this sanctuary. While this paradise is strategically located far enough from the county roads to avoid disturbing the wildlife, it is only 20 minutes from a commercial airport, hospital, and other modern amenities in the city of Scottsbluff.

A Note from the Broker…..

I have personally been in farm, ranch, and recreational land sales for over 40 years. I am an avid outdoorsman who has intensively hunted Nebraska my whole life. I have traveled the entire North American continent pursuing all manner of birds and game, and I have never seen anything like this place. Not only is this possibly the most extraordinary waterfowl sanctuary in America, it is the finest all around hunting property I have ever seen. This property offers a World Class Waterfowl Hunting Experience, and is possibly the best turkey, deer, and upland game property in the United States. This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for an outdoorsman to carry on the work that created this wildlife utopia, and to enjoy the astounding bounty this paradise has to offer.

Take the time to truly appreciate what has been accomplished here. If you would like to tour this incredible preserve, I would be happy to accommodate you.

Mike Lashley
Broker, Owner
Lashley Land and Recreational Brokers, Inc.

Improvements/Property Residences….

  • The owner’s Lodge or “Green Roof” includes 7 bedrooms & 6 bathrooms and sleeps up to 15.  Full gourmet kitchen with stainless steel appliances.  A large, beautiful great room with fireplace in brick hearth.  Oak flooring and Berber carpet complete this home.   Green Roof has a fishing pond stocked with bass and trout; and the nearby North Platte River is considered one of the best fishing areas in the United States.
  • “Hardt House” is a 2,254 sq.ft. “ranch style”, single family residence with a 560 sq.ft. detached garage plus a large shop and additional equipment building.  It has 4 bedrooms & 2 bathrooms.
  • “Pirate House” is located in the town of McGrew and is currently used as a Hunters’ Clubhouse.  It has 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom plus a heated hunting gear shed.
  • “Warner House” is a 1,640 sq. ft. home with 3 bedrooms & 2 bathrooms, plus a 700 sq. ft. attached garage.
  • “Red Roof” is a 1,812 sq.ft, “bungalow”, single family residence with a detached 1,700+ sq.ft. utility building.  It is currently rented.
  • In addition, the property package includes two historic buildings in the nearby town of Bayard, the McGrew Bank building and the Oregon Trail Chapel.


  • City: McGrew
  • State/county: Nebraska
  • Zip/Postal Code: 69353
  • Neighborhood: Scotts Bluff County
  • Country: United States

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