Godello is a white grape varietal which is undergoing another passionate revival in the north-western wine regions of Spain (just north of Portugal) - which has been re-planted with Godello since the 1970s. Current research indicated that the grape originates from the banks of the Río Sil (river) in Galicia.
This concerted effort by a small number of growers has not only saved Godello - but also inspired winemakers all over the north-western region of Spain and even in Portugal to see can be achieved. Results so far have been extremely promising, and the change excitingly rapid. DNA profiling of Godello, Gouveio and Gouveio Roxo from the Douro has shown that they are all identical. Gouveio Roxo is a colour mutation of Gouveio.


To give some clarity on the subject - the grape vine called Verdelho do Dão has been shown to be identical to Gouveio (and therefore Godello). But the grape vine named Verdelho on its own, planted in Madeira and in other parts of the world has its own unique DNA profile. Also, DNA analysis of the varietal parentage which is still to be confirmed - has shown so far that Godello is a sibling of Verdejo from the Valladolid D.O. wine region of north-west Spain.
Godello can produce fine white wines, and yields the best results in Valdeorras D.O. - an appellation located in Galicia, an autonomous region in the north-west of Spain. Where plantings have increased after having been in decline. Total Spanish plantations of Godello stood at 1153 hectares back in 2008. And with approximately 900 hectares in Portugal (mainly found in the Douro Valley) as of 2010.
Godello is a modern rescue - as mentioned, in the 1970s the grape was nearly extinct, but a couple of enthusiastic advocates brought it to the world’s attention with engaging expressions, and it is today a key varietal in Spain and, increasingly on the world stage. Godello is now one of Spain's two premier white wine varietals, sitting comfortably alongside Albariño.
Godello is an early ripening varietal which thrives in dry sites. With small compact bunches made up of small berries, with a medium-thick skin and a succulent inner flesh. Due to its tendency to bud early and then ripen early, it is susceptible to powdery mildew and botrytis. The berries can achieve a high level of sugar, which is balanced by a medium to high level of mineral acidity.
Because the wines are continuing to develop and evolve, the wines can be found in quite a range of styles (not unlike Chardonnay, to which the finished wines are compared). One key difference in styles is the use or not of oak in vinification. Godello wines made in stainless steel tanks tend to have, a fresher, more lifted personality, with a focused minerality, natural acidity and fruit forward personality. Godello wines crafted in oak tend to be richer, fuller interpretations, often with a creamier character which comes from lees contact, and are well suited to barrel fermentation - and can age well due to a reductive character to the varietal and confident acidity. Godello is a grape varietal that combines the structure of a white Burgundy with the finesse of a generously fruit driven and a defined mineral seam varietal.
The Godello grape varietal can produce fine white wines, and it is in the Valdeorras D.O. wine region that its greatest successes have been seen, leading to a steady increase in plantings. Godello wines can display white fruits such as apples and pears, with citrus hints of limes and grapefruit, as well as delicate floral aromas of blossom and honeysuckle. Wines with medium to high fruit intensity, and wines showcasing nuances of honey, cream, brioche, vanilla, hazelnuts and sometimes even flint and white pepper.