GODELLO, described by critics as “a sleeping giant of a variety waiting to be properly discovered,” is a Spanish white variety of grapes.
Produced in the north-west particularly in Valdeorras, Ribeira Sacra, Monterrey in Galicia and Bierzo in Castilla y Léon, its 19th century origins are from Godella in Valencia where this variety was first planted, only being transported to Galicia later by a trader.
After decades of decline, plantations have increased since the mid-80s as Godello has grown steadily more popular due to a small group of dedicated growers and producers. The wines are sometimes made solely of Godello, though can additionally be blended with local grapes including Treixadura and Albariño, thus providing similarities with Chardonnay.
The Godello grape is versatile and somewhat neutral, greatly reflecting in its aromas and flavours the methods and techniques of the winemaker. Producers in Bierzo favour ageing Godello in oak barrels, making richer, fuller wines; those from Valdeorras tend to be aged in steel tanks, giving them a fresher, livelier quality.
Overall Godello wines are clean and fresh with deep rich mineral and fruit flavours that are ripe and savoury. Ageing well, some last up to a decade, gaining complexity and depth with time.
Seafood is an obvious choice of food to match with Godello, especially heartier choices including lobster, scallops, crab, and halibut, though salads and lighter chicken dishes also pair well.
Known producers in the area are Santa Maria, Vina Godeval, Soto del Vicario, Castro de Lobarzan and Pazos del Rey.
As always with white wines, drink lightly chilled but not icy cold.