Meet the team here at CALAIS Winery
Benjamin Calais – Owner and Winemaker
As a Frenchman with over a decade under his belt in Texas, Benjamin offers a refreshing approach to winemaking. Born and raised in the old world – Calais, France – he undertakes each vintage with resolve: because he insists on using only superior grapes, he limits his production in order to avoid sacrificing quality. This practice makes him a standout in the industry. He’s that serious about making great wine.
With an educational background in information technology, Benjamin moved from Paris to Dallas in 2007 to work as an engineer specializing in computer security software. What began as a hobby – winemaking – quickly took center stage. In 2008 Calais Winery opened in Dallas’ Deep Ellum, a neighborhood known for its restaurants, gastro pubs, arts and entertainment.
Benjamin quickly made a name for himself in the Texas Wine scene over the next several years. At that point, the desire to live and establish a presence in the quaint community of Hye, TX led him to purchase land and move the winery to the Texas Hill Country. Doors opened in May of 2015 and the decision has proven successful.
As an ardent advocate for production of wines in Texas from 100% Texas grapes, Benjamin participates in various associations dedicated to this cause. His reputation as a collaborator and partner among local wineries along with his vision for promoting Real Texas Wine make him a respected member in the Texas Hill Country winemaking scene.
Sheri Pattillo – Sales and Marketing
As a sixth-generation Texan, Sheri enjoys life in the Hill Country. She joined the team at Calais in 2016 to assist in all facets of the work. Her dual business and wine background give her a unique perspective in the industry. Sheri enjoys teaching wine classes for Texas Tech University and The Texas Wine School, discussing all aspects of wine from the vineyard to the glass.
In addition to her MBA, Sheri holds the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Diploma as well as being a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and a Certified Specialist of Wine with the Society of Wine Educators. She is a Certified Wine Educator for WSET and a lifelong learner herself. In addition, Sheri serves as the Executive Director for Texas Wine Growers, an organization committed to protecting and promoting the integrity of Texas wines.
Emily Ann Pack – Assistant Winemaker
Emily Ann is originally from Odessa, Texas where she developed a passion for wine from a young age through her parents' love of wine and their close friendship with Jim Evans of Lost Oak, who sparked her love of Texas wine and winemaking. Emily Ann graduated high school as salutatorian and went on to receive her bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from UT Austin.
After graduation, she headed out to the Napa Valley in California and worked for Cakebread Cellars, where even through fires, evacuations, a broken finger, and long harvest hours, she knew winemaking was the right path for her.
Following the completion of her first harvest, Emily Ann chased harvest down to the McLaren Vale, South Australia and ran the night shift for the lab at Ryecroft. Then she hemisphere hopped back to the Napa Valley where she worked for Shramsberg and J. Davies with a small, dedicated crew making fantastic wine.
Finally, she was working for Vrede en Lust in South Africa when Calais offered her the assistant winemaking position in Spring of 2019, so she jumped on a plane back home and has been here since.
Maverick Calais – Winery Dog (2010-2018)
Part Labrador and part Border Collie, Maverick’s energy permeated the entire property. He enjoyed playing fetch and eating the breadcrumbs that fell from the tasting bar. Astute and obedient, Maverick elicited smiles and attention when he happened to be in the winery.