Wine awards win follows tragedy

NEW Margaret River wine producer Frog Choir Wines is celebrating an extraordinary golden win at the 2005 Sheraton WA Wine Awards.Four years ago, the owners of the little vineyard, Eddie and Sharon Sawiris, were pulled from the mangled wreck of their car after it had been crushed by a truck on the Bussell Highway. They were both rushed to Royal Perth Hospital in comas with extensive head injuries and both spent several weeks in intensive care, before embarking on a long and painful road to recovery that has involved extensive facial reconstruction and surgery.The crash occurred as they were preparing to harvest the first vintage from their 1.2 hectare vineyard, which is surrounded by such prestige producers as Leeuwin Estate, Voyager Estate and Redgate.In what many see as a triumph of the human spirit over adversity, Frog Choir won a gold medal in the dry red blends class for its 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz. Another newcomer to the boutique producers was Bridgetown’s Rosenthal Wines, which won a gold medal in the sparkling class for its 2003 Shiraz.The best individual entry award went to Margaret River producer Lenton Brae for its 2005 Sauvignon Blanc, while big Swan Valley-based producer Houghton Wines was the show’s most successful exhibitor.

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