Godello is a fine white skinned grape variety, indigenous to northwest Spain and northern Portugal. Godello is also known as Verdello in Spain, while in Portugal it is named Gouveio. Godello's profile is particularly high in the easternmost Galician wine region of Valdeorras, where it competes with other Galician wines made from Albarinho, as perhaps the most noble white wine of Spain.
Despite Godello's promise, however, it is only recent aggressive planting policies that have brought the variety back from the cusp of extinction, following the ravages of phylloxera. Spain currently has more than 900 hectares dedicated to the variety.
Godello is a relatively productive grape variety albeit, it is susceptible to disease. While this is largely a problem in Galicia's wet and humid climate, Valdeorras is protected from the Atlantic by mountains to the west which, somewhat like Alsace, serve as a buffer against malevolent weather and disease pressures. This makes Valdeorras a particularly propitious terroir for the grape.
When Godello is vinified at cool temperatures under reductive conditions, it can produce peachy wines, not dissimilar to Albarinho. These boast an alcoholic strength of 12 to 13.5 per cent. Godello, however, gives more viscous wines than the more saline styles made with Albarinho; lending themselves to barrel fermentation and extended lees handling for further richness. In the late 1990's, the Guitián family pioneered wines of this ilk to critical praise.