Diploma Graduates

Diploma Graduates

Diploma Graduates

To date, 27 students  have graduated from our  flagship educational programme, the  WSET® Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits, a number that is increasing every year. Diploma Graduates enjoy high esteem both in Greece and internationally and are leaders in the wine industry.


ANDREAS MATTHIDIS AIWS : Mr. Andreas Matthidis is an honours graduate from the Higher School of Tourism in Rhodes (formerly ASTIR) and also of the Athens University of Economics (formerly ASOOE). Since 2005 he has been one of our lecturers at the WSPC and is our first lecturer to  graduate from the WSET® Diploma studies. From June 2008 he has been working with W.S. KAROULIAS as a Training and Development Director of  Wines and Spirits. In recent years he has acted as the President of the Greek Association of Sommeliers of which he was a founding member. During the period 2005-2008 he was a member of the board of Directors  of the World Association of Sommeliers. Since 2008 he is member of the board of directors of Chaine des Rotisseurs Greece.

MARIANNA MAKRYGIANNI AIWS : Ms. MAKRYGIANNI is a graduate of Oenology & Beverage Technology Department of TEI of Athens and holder of the WSET® Diploma. She has extensive experience in retail point of sales administration and general management as well as the area of purchasing.. Since 2010 she has been working in the  Greek WSET® England  centre holding the title of Examinations Officer & WSET® Diploma Coordinator and as a wine-buyer for the needs of the Greek centre.

GREGORY MICHAILOS AIWS : Gregory Michailos was born in Athens in January 1978 and comes from a family with a long tradition in the restaurant business which inspired in him  a love for aromas and flavours. His studies in Chemical Engineering of NTUA and in music, did not hinder a rather predictable course and in 2004, he took over the family restaurant Paradiso. In August 2009 he was amongst the first three graduates of the WSET® Diploma. As an honours student at all WSET® levels he received four scholarships and was awarded the Diploma with distinction. Since 2010 he has been part of the  group of WSPC® lecturers, and along with John Karakasis he runs the dynamic wine blog of the  Wine Commanders.

GIANNIS MAKRIS AIWS : Mr. Makris, with his many years of  experience in catering to many of the most important companies in the industry, for example PENTELIKON Hotel and Platis SA, is one of the oldest members of the Greek Sommeliers. In the past he has been active in the importation and distribution in Greece of the Alsace and Italian firms, Cave Du Roi Dagobert & Lungarotti, respectively, and is presently  co-owner of the wine restaurant Food and Wine, in Kolonaki.

VICKY PERISTANOGLOU AIWS : Vicky Peristanoglou left- to some extent- the world of finance, marketing and large companies, to deal academically and professionally with wine, because her love for the sector was so great that she could not do otherwise. She lives in Athens and works for the Gerovassiliou and Biblia Chora estates.  At the same time she is collaborating with  the WSET® in London. In her spare time she enjoys reading, travelling, cooking and learning karate.




JOHN KARAKASIS AIWS: John Karakasis was born in Athens in 1971 and graduated from the Naval Academy as an active officer of the Navy. He served on various types of vessels although his great love was the AB-212 helicopters in which he clocked up close to 2000 hours. After 21 years in the Navy from 2010 he turned his attention exclusively to the world of wines..He passed the WSET® Diploma exam with merit earning two of the three scholarships in Greece, whereas internationally he won the  Mad Royal Tokaji scholarship for the best performance in section 3 (Light Wines). He is the co-founder of the dynamic wine blog " Wine Commanders", whilst at the same time  completing his studies  in the Master of Wine programme preparing his  research paper

STEFANOS TSALAVOUTAS AIWS: Stefanos Tsalavoutas AIWS, was born in Athens in 1974. He studied physics and philosophy in Athens and London and manages a family real estate business. His involvement with wine is as a wine lover.



GEORGE VALSAMIDIS AIWS: Born in Athens in 1957, he studied Mechanical Engineering at NTUA and works in the IT sector. He presently  lives in Luxembourg


ΕFSTATHIOS SALTAS AIWS: Efstathios Saltas was born in 1967 and since 1989 has been involved in film and television production, initially as cameraman later as director of photography and in more recent years as a producer. He is the owner of Novolite, a company operating in the audiovisual field. In 2006 he became involved in wine and spirits and in 2007 began his studies at the WSPC. He holds the WSPC DIPLOMA since 2012. After a short stint in catering when he operated as an assistant manager in the' Little Italy 'restaurant, he started in wine sales. Since 2012 he has been involved in the  promotion of wines through audiovisual media, producing videos about wine as a personal projects, also promotional videos about wineries or collaborating with  organisations such as the OPE(Organisation for the promotion of Exports) and EDOAO  producing videos promoting Greek wine to other countries

DIMITRIOS GRIZAS AIWS: Dimitris Grizas AIWS, was born in Athens and raised in Peania where he has his family roots. He graduated from the Department of Plant Production within the Faculty of Agricultural Technology in Heraklion Crete. He followed his postgraduate studies on a scholarship in the environmental department of the Aegean University in Mytilini, acquiring the title of Master of Science in the area of "Agriculture and Environment". He studied at the  WSPC® and acquired the title of WSET® Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits, achieving the most important scholarship in the 2014 graduation ceremony (the Honorary Scholarship in memory of Maria Charami). He works in the commercial department of the E. Tsantalis SA Company.


ΑRIS SPAIDIOTIS AIWS: Mr. Aris Spaidiotis holds the WSET® Diploma and is a graduate of the Department of Oenology and Beverage Technology, TEI of Athens, having on graduation won the Pan-European prize as a junior researcher, rewarded for his dissertation. Starting his career as a sales manager in  the commercial company, Aeolus SA, he learnt the mysteries  of sales and marketing wine, whilst meanwhile working as a Sommelier at various restaurants in Athens. Since 2013  he lives and works in London as an assistant manager in the ' Spirited Wines 'company.

VASILIS ΕXARHOPOULOS AIWS: Mr Vassilis Exarchopoulos is a graduate of ASOOE ( Athens University of Economics) and has a postgraduate degree in  Market and Production mathematics, specialising in negotiation skills. He works as an Oil trader in the international commodities market with specific expertise in risk management and in the marketing of natural fuel oils. He speaks four languages.

DIMITRIS MOTSOS DipWSET: Dimitris combines an academic career with his passion for communications and wine. He is a Doctoral Candidate at Political and Ideological Movements of the 20th century at Democritus University of Thrace, from where he also acquired his Master’s Degree in Southeastern European Studies. He holds a post at the Press Office of the Department of European Development and Planning at the Municipality of Agios Melas. A trip at Provence in 2011 triggered his passion for wine and led him to studying at W.S.P.C. Two years later Dimitris started writing about his wine adventures at a blog he co-created - www.winegeeks.gr - , while today “Parallaxi”, the top online and offline magazine on culture in Northern Greece hosts his articles. Since 2014, he is working at Cava Abatzis in Thessaloniki, as a wine consultant and buyer; Dimitris also organizes workshops and tastings. Travelling, photography and “every page ever word ever written by  John Steinbeck and Archibald Joseph Cronin are Dimitris’ hobbies. He makes sure he gives 99% of his energy to his wife and son. Dimitris succeeded in obtaining his WSET Diploma in September 2018.