The story is about a man named Andrew Solomon, a young bank clerk. He is let go in the course of the bank’s reorganization, whereupon his wife leaves him for a wealthy lover. The two are both immediately killed in a car crash however, and Andrew finds himself with both the compensation from the bank and his wife’s insurance. He takes a Mediterranean cruise to get away from it all but falls off the boat one night and is rescued by some French fishermen. He buys a small car, and on the drive home, he stops at a small town in the Auvergne and finds himself looking at a notice at an estate agent’s window: “For sale—established riverside B&B with small vineyard.”
He is hugely attracted to the idea and also to Sabine, the young estate agent. With the help of her uncle Gabriel, he puts his considerable funds into developing the vineyard and making their own wine instead of sending the grapes to the local cooperative, which incurs the growing hostility of some of the neighbors, like Geoges Cortou, president of the coop, in particular. Despite this, the reputation of the vineyard continues to grow until they decide to get rid of the English at all costs.