Michael Bello, the founder of a Southern California construction company, purchased five acres of prime Napa Valley land in 2000 and built Bello Family Vineyards, which includes a 5,700-square-foot grand residence constructed with materials imported from France and a two-acre Rutherford Bench vineyard, at 8424 Saint Helena Highway.
In early 2012, Bello’s company, WallDesign, Inc., filed for bankruptcy. Seven months later, the Bello Family Vineyards opened an opulent tasting room on Main Street in Saint Helena. And soon thereafter, accusations of secret bank accounts and improper spending surfaced, along with attempts by creditors to clawback money which had been spent.
Speaking of which, while Bello Family Vineyards quietly hit the market listed for $9.7 million last year, it failed to sell and the property is now being offered in a sealed bid “auction” with bids due on or before August 4. And while newly listed for $9 million, “bids below the list price will be given due consideration.”
Comments from Plugged-In Readers
Never saw the appeal of living in the Napa Valley flats when a place in the hills can be had for not much more. Unless, you really want to become a farmer (you don’t). The valley floor is hot and dusty and there’s not much to look at, while the hills are full of trees and beautiful views. I do love me some Rutherford cabernet, though.
To me the appeal is looking out directly on vineyards (which hopefully won’t turn into other houses in a few years).
its amazing what $$ can buy – even if it’s not yours…..
If he had stolen twice as much, he could have had ten times the property: 1799 Oakville Grade Road, Oakville, CA 94562
UPDATE: Ciao Bello Seconda Parte: Prime Napa Vineyard and Residence Sold
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