The series is based on an aristocratic German family (The Guldenburgs).
It deals with the various relationships and problems the family goes through.
The Guldenburgs live outside Hamburg at Castle Guldenburg, which is set on a large farm and is also the location of the family brewery (the chief source of their fortune).
A Hamburg family - the Balbecks are the rival Beer-makers and seek to buy-out the Guldenburgs.
Things are complicated by Thomas von Guldenburg falling in love with Kitty (Catherine) Balbeck. The Guldenburgs themselves are not a unified family. Herta, the dowager Countess, never really approved of Christine,the present Countess. Christine's husband (Herta's son) is dead, leaving her two children, Susanne (Nana) and Alexander (Sacha). There are also two children from the Count's first marriage - Thomas and Evelyn. Evelyn is married to Achim Lauritzen - who works for the Balbecks and attempts to undermine the Guldenburgs. Christine is the principal heroine as she struggles to keep the family from bankruptcy - and from the Balbecks buying them out. This is complicated by the appearance of her dead husband's mistress Carini di Angeli and her child.