Argot \ ˈärgō \ : a shared language, borne from intimacy,
associated with tight-knit groups brought together by a common interest
Each significant relationship in life gives rise to an argot among the members who define it. The deeper the bond, and longer its history, this argot’s vocabulary becomes more personal, allowing it to strengthen and enhance the dynamic.
In opening a bottle of wine, so too is opened the flow of conversation and potential to connect. Throughout human history wine has been used for worship, celebration, mourning and, more simply, to share life.
In christening our wine brand Argot, we honor the beautiful symmetry and complementary nature wine and communication hold. Round up a friend, pull a cork, splash a glass, and enjoy.
Winemaker and Founder
Born in Chicago, to a large Irish family, wine did not play a role in Justin’s life while growing up. Milk was the beverage of choice at the dinner table, and the industrial beers of the Midwest, fueled family parties. He does not pinpoint a specific moment that his passion for wine was ignited but, instead, attributes it to a series of experiences, places visited, bottles opened and friendships forged. At this point in life, he can not imagine a life without the joys of all things wine!
It began with the occasional bottle purchased for dinner parties, but the joy of the wine shop kept luring Justin back for more. Browsing aisles, learning from staff, participating in tastings; wine’s expansive scope continued to entice and draw him in.
Following years of devout consumerism, the desire to dig deeper became insatiable. Swirl, sniff and sip was no longer enough. Vacations revolved around wine country — visiting tasting rooms, participating in vineyard walks and winery tours, gaining audience with winemakers. The direct industry contact stoked the fire to gain additional exposure to the art of winemaking.
With an educational background in chemistry, the enology textbooks and juice concentrate kit were to be expected; the flash-frozen pails of grapes brought cross-country by rail, less so. The guerilla winemaking in his basement that followed, and experiencing fermentation first-hand, only furthered the fascination. The want for more knowledge and to continue getting his hands dirty could no longer be reigned in.
In pursuit of production experience, the chance opportunity to be involved with California’s 2005 harvest, for a single day’s work, provided his first look behind the curtain. The hook was set. The following year brought him back to California to participate in Sonoma County’s 2006 harvest as a full-fledged cellar hand. A second turn as cellar hand, during 2007’s harvest, afforded an opportunity to ferment and raise the single ton of Syrah grapes upon which Argot was founded.
Each subsequent year, under the Argot banner, Justin has continued adding vineyards, and vinting new varietals, while learning the craft of winemaking and honing his skills, on-the-job. Over a decade into this career change, he deems this his life’s work.