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.”