'You really love me don't you?' she said.
'Of course I do.'
'It's hard to tell because you never talk much. You've never really had any fun in your life at all, have you?'
'No, but that's about to change.'
Late one summer evening, Wilberforce - rich, young, work-obsessed and self-contained - makes an unexpected detour on the way home from the software company he owns and unwittingly takes the first step on a journey that will change his life.
His uncharacteristically impulsive act leads him to the door of Caerlyon Hall, to the vast undercroft beneath it, and the domain of Francis Black, a place where wine, hospitality and affection flow freely. Through Francis, the eccentric and enigmatic owner of Caerlyon, Wilberforce is initiated into a life he could never have imagined: a life rich in the promise of friendship and adventure, where, through his new set of friends, with their shooting parties and stately homes, the possibility of finding acceptance, and even falling in love, seems finally to be within his reach.
As his horizon broadens and his heart expands, Wilberforce becomes a willing pupil to Francis's master, and in the cellars of Caerlyon he nurtures a new-found passion for fine wine.
But even the finest wine can leave a bitter aftertaste, and Wilberforce will learn that the undercroft holds some unpalatable secrets, and that passion comes at a price.
Chronicling the vintage years of Wilberforce's life, The Irresistible Inheritance of Wilberforce is a dazzling, haunting story of obsession and addiction, of loyalty and betrayal.