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 and 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. Her dedication to learning led to admission into the Master of Wine (MW) study program, whereby she hopes to attain the most prestigious title in the world of wine.
Adrienne Ballou – Assistant Winemaker
Adrienne grew up in Austin, Texas and eventually left her pursuit of a Chemistry degree at the University of Texas to do her first harvest in Walla Walla, Washington. After falling in love with wine in Washington, Adrienne completed her B.S in Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis and headed to Burgundy to stage at Domaine Antonin Guyon under a fellowship from the Chevaliers du Tastevin.
Once she returned from France, Adrienne found a new home in beer at Jester King Brewery where she brewed and ran the barrel and fruit re-fermentation program for three years. After her time at Jester King, she made the decision to return to her true passion and headed to Australia for another wine harvest in Orange, NSW.
Upon returning to Texas, Adrienne immediately began work with Lewis Wines where she was the assistant winemaker for two years. Adrienne transitioned to Calais winery in the Spring of 2018 where she is currently the assistant winemaker.
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.