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.