In what is being called The Savalanche, Aussie wine lovers are soaking up New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and loving it, mate. We’ll clink our glasses to that.

Young Australians with higher incomes are fuelling a growing interest in New Zealand wines across the Tasman, with volume sales up by 42.3%.

The oversupply issue created by two bumper harvests has seen kiwi winemakers stretch into new markets in search of new customers. But there is also growing demand from one of the oldest and closest international markets for local wines, according to a new Nielsen report.

The report found that volume sales were up 42.3% over the financial year to 2009, while sales value has doubled over the last three years.

Kiwi wines now represent 8% of the total wine sold through the off-premise liquor market in Australia. The Nielsen report found that a core group of Aussie consumers aged in their 30s who are relatively new to the wine category were driving the increase.

According to the report, the regular buyers of New Zealand wines were now more likely to be in their 30s and less likely to be aged over 65; likely to live in metro regions and Sydney in particular; and have a household income over $100,000.

These buyers are also more prone to experiment and taste new and alternate varities, but this means they are not necessarily loyal to any particular brand, according to Nielsen Liquor Group pacific executive director Michael Walton.

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