US film director and multi-Oscar winner Francis Ford Coppola on Sunday likened movie-making to his other great passion, wine, as he attended a prestigious trade fair in Asia's new wine hub Hong Kong.

The director of modern classics such as "Apocalypse Now" and "The Godfather" trilogy told reporters at the opening of the Winefuture expo that the process of producing a fine wine had features in common with directing a great film.

"Cinema and wine-making are similar in three areas," Coppola told a packed room of journalists. "You have the gathering of source material, choosing from the material, and the adding of the finishing touches."

But, he added, he had no immediate plans to give the subject the big screen treatment.

"I am Italian American, I recall wine at the table since my earliest memories," Coppola said. "I got into wine purely because I love it, not as a businessman."

Hong Kong became a regional wine centre after the southern Chinese city's government abolished duties on wine imports in 2008, helping the market expand beyond a handful of local connoisseurs and expatriates.

"I am very impressed by the changes (in Hong Kong) and gladdened by the removal of the duties (on wine)," Coppola said.

Winefuture is an annual gathering of some of the most important wine personalities around the world.

The three-day conference this year features one of the world's most influential wine critics, Robert Parker.

Hong Kong has become a gateway to the booming wine market in mainland China, which is expected to be the world's sixth largest wine consumer by 2014, according to leading global wine and spirits promoter Vinexpo.