“Forget Albariño. Godello is the hot new northwest Spanish grape variety with great class,” says Jancis Robinson. The signature white grape of tiny, verdant Valdeorras (‘Valley of Gold’) in Galicia, it was first planted to vines by the ancient Romans, when they arrived to mine for gold in the river Sil. Today, Godello’s seen a resurgence in popularity, thanks to local pioneers like Rafael de Haan. Chic and refreshing, his take on Godello includes a splash of another variety, Palomino, to balance Godello’s natural weight. Enjoy zesty tropical and citrus fruit flavors, offset by zingy mineral notes.
Half-Spanish but raised in England, Rafael de Haan (below) earned a degree in history and Latin American studies before getting his start in the wine trade in 2000. He moved to Spain in 2001 to open a wine and tapas bar in Barcelona. Five years later, the place was a hit, but Rafael had already been bitten by the wine bug. He sold his stake in the restaurant, and, several successful years later, has earned quite the reputation for his top-notch wines.