As we first reported last year:

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 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.”

Apparently a 38 percent below list price bid of $5,558,230 was not only considered but accepted. And the grand residence and vineyard at 8424 Saint Helena Highway has sold.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by jwb

    The dying lawn really ties it all together.

  2. Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

    I guess I wouldn’t put quotation marks around (“auction”).

    This story reads that it was an actual bankruptcy auction. The liquidating trustee has an obligation to try to get as much as she can for the assets held by a trust. The MLS notes, still available on Redfin read:

    “This property will be sold at auction ordered by the Liquidating Trustee. Bids due on or before August 24, 2016. Trustee will consider all bids.”

    Did the new owner get a bank loan to buy this? If they did not, they are also earning a cash-bid auction discount. Looks like a nice place. Hopefully the new buyers enjoy it.

  3. Posted by 5mil

    What sold me was the rock grout brick sandwich arch combo.

  4. Posted by ess

    Did the vineyard acreage produce anything decent?

    • Posted by Stop Driving

      The terroir in that part of Rutherford is fabulous, but two acres isn’t going to produce much volume. You might get 6-8 tons of grape production at most at an optimistic $10,000/ton. A master viticulturist could see $50,000/ton in that area, but that type of person would’t bother with two acres of vines.

      • Posted by jwb

        It looks like the majority of this valuable land has been pissed away on a tree-lined boulevard leading up to the ridiculous dwelling. I hope the guy next door won the auction and is planning to raze the place.

  5. Posted by BobN

    Dang. Missed it by $15.

  6. Posted by Mark F.

    It’s a ridiculous home. “Grand” indeed. LOL.

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