Winemaker and Founder

Even after 15+ harvests, Justin continues to continues to experience that “pinch me” feeling regarding his life as a winemaker. A Chicago native born into a decidedly non-wine family, his journey to a life in wine was non-traditional, at best.

After attending university in Philadelphia, and a short career as a Chemical Engineer, Justin found himself returning to Chicago in his mid-20s to work as a software engineer. It was during this period that his love for wine truly blossomed.

What began with purchasing the occasional bottle to be shared over dinner, in time turned to the closets of his apartment full of wine, and his favorite pastime becoming browsing the aisles of local wineshops, and attending their hosted tastings devouring all thing wine—books, tastings, seminars, travel. He had been bitten by the bug.

This increased exposure to the world of wine led to a curiosity towards the process of winemaking itself. Following a series of attempts of at-home winemaking, Justin found himself travelling to Sonoma County in 2005 to participate in his first harvest.

Following harvest internships in 2006 and 2007, the opportunity to purchase grapes and ferment them in a professional winery presented itself. That ferment became Argot’s inaugural bottling, 2007’s Preamble Syrah.

Nearly two decades later, Justin’s commitment to his craft remains unwavering.