He was a man driven by urgency to escape—from a childhood spent in the slums of Sydney; from the hatred of a brutal, drunken stepfather; from the memory of a dead man lying at his feet.
At last, in the great wine-growing district of the Barossa Valley, he believed that he could forget his past. He was just another one of that growing band of men roaming the countryside searching for work—men returned from World War I, jobless and often hungry, drifting from the cities to the rural areas.
On that autumn evening when he took his first sight of the Valley, he swore to forge a new beginning and a new life for himself. He took a new name—Jason King.
This is the story of his involvement with the powerful Trevelyn family, ruled by the old, half-crippled Robert Trevelyn, who cared for only two things in life—his land and his granddaughter; of the struggle for possession of the vineyard at Amberleigh, and the intense conflicts and jealousies that existed between the members of that family.
It is also a story of the land itself, and its overshadowing influence on the lives and the loves of the men and women who lived by it; of the wild, colourful passion of the vintage; of the fickle vagaries of nature that could turn wrathful and destroy a vineyard and a harvest and then grow calm and promise rebirth.