Yiannis Karakasis was born and raised in Athens, Greece. Wine has always been a driving force and an inner passion for him, so after completing a career as an officer flying helicopters in the Greek Navy he seized the opportunity to become professionally involved with wine. Yiannis believes that: “wine is not a destination, it is a constant journey; Greek wine in particular is stunning – an unexplored sea of adventure. Greece is a blessed country with genuinely fascinating varieties from some of the most exciting terroirs in the world.”
After completing his WSET Diploma in 2011, Yiannis applied for the Master of Wine course. He founded winecommanders.com with Grigoris Michailos, which went on to become one of the most prominent sites on Greek wine. Yiannis became a Master of Wine in 2015, writing his Research Paper on the topic of: The Rise of Alcohol.
Today Yiannis is a consultant for several businesses involved in wine, including on-line wine retailers, export companies and hotels. He regularly promotes Greek wine around the world from Europe to Australia, and is an associate of national and regional wine bodies.
Yiannis' energetic and dynamic personality has enabled him to develop into one of the strongest voices for Greek and Cypriot wines, via his blog karakasis.mw. He is a regular writer for ‘Greece Is’ books and has contributed to numerous international magazines and websites, including Palate Press, Jancis Robinson and Decanter. In 2017 he published his first e-book on Greek wine, entitled ''The Vineyards and Wines of Greece 2017'' (English version), in which he describes the current state of Greek wine in detail, and in the fall of 2018 he is scheduled to publish 'Natural Wines in Greece' (Greek version). He has also appeared in several episodes of the Greek TV wine show 'Taste and Flavour/ Gefseis kai Oinos', describing regional typicity and the characteristics of Greek varieties.
Yiannis has presented some of the most significant wine masterclasses in Greece, such as in-depth tastings of Greek varieties, regional masterclasses and retrospectives of both Greek and International labels. Some of the most prestigious masterclasses he has moderated include 9 vintages of Château Margaux, and a 15 vintage tasting of Vega Sicilia back to the 1950s.
As someone who is very passionate about teaching and educating, Yiannis organizes and participates in seminars and bootcamps for Master of Wine students, academic Masterclasses and tastings for novice consumers. In addition, he is a judge at the Decanter World Wine Awards. His greatest wine passion is pre-phylloxera wines, which he believes display unparalleled class, complexity and character.
Gregory Michailos holds the WSET Diploma certificate and is a wine consultant and wine educator. Together with Yiannis they founded winecommanders.com that brought a breath of fresh air to the Greek wine scene.
Demetri Walters MW is a confident, enthusiastic and authoritative wine educator and presenter with more than sixteen years of experience selling wine, running wine schools and hosting corporate and private wine tasting events to groups of all sizes.
As Wine Educator & Presenter for the prestigious Berry Bros. & Rudd, Demetri’s approach to presenting wine is amusing, accessible and entertaining. He is an expert at leading wine tasting events, conducting private wine tuition, providing specialist presentations at third party Wine Fairs and Master of Wine Educational Seminars, and is an international wine judge. Demetri also operates product training, WSET education and wine list advice to the restaurant and hotel trade. His remit is international and involves teaching wine students, private clients, on-trade customers (restaurant teams, sommeliers and corporate wholesale customers) and distributors all over the world, including in Abu Dhabi, Cyprus, Dubai, Japan and Hong Kong.
Demetri was made a Master of Wine in 2013, his thesis for which brought him back to his formative interest in Cypriot wine. He is a consultant voice for numerous wine regions, particularly those of the Eastern Mediterranean and Eastern Europe, and is a regular speaker on sweet and fortified wines. Demetri is a regular contributor to karakasis.mw.
A South-African Greek who has practiced psychiatry and analytic therapy for the greater part of her career, but is also in love with wine. She attained the WSET Level 3 qualification and is currently trying to blend these seemingly disparate interests. Writing about the different brews and the people behind them is her newfound enjoyment. She has also recently started oenophilesandfoodies.com, to promote Greek wine, olive oil and honey. You can find more of her writing on the blog she keeps. She will be contributing to the site on a monthly basis.
Andreas Kyprianou is a Cypriot sommelier and current holder of the title of the Best Sommelier of Cyprus. He was also the first Cypriot to have passed the Advanced examination from the Court of Master Sommeliers, last step before the Master Sommelier title. He is the owner and Wine Director of Vino Cultura in Cyprus, that operates a Wine Bar, and a wine shop that imports and distributes wines in Cyprus.