Fine wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd has appointed Geordie Willis as its business development manager in Hong Kong, in recognition of growing wine markets in Southeast Asia.

Willis, an eight-generation family member and nephew of Berry Bros chairman Simon Berry, will work to grow the 310-year-old merchant's business in Hong Kong and elsewhere in the region.

Hong Kong has positioned itself as the "wine hub" of Asia, after abolishing duty tax on wine last year.

Nicholas Pegna, managing director of Berry Bros in Hong Kong, said: "The Hong Kong market has matured very fast and there continues to be strong growth in demand for wine coupled with an increased thirst for wine knowledge."

She added: "Geordie's appointment to the Hong Kong team will strengthen our capacity to respond to this increasing interest, particularly from China, and indeed across the region."

Willis, aged 28, spent two years as cellar manager for Berry Bros flahgship store in London before leaving to join a marketing agency.