Catamarca is an up-coming wine-growing region situated in the northwestern part of Argentina in the middle of the Andes mountain range. The name derives from the Quechua language and means "fortress on the slope". Catamarca wine region is protected by the rain shadow of the Andes, resulting in a dry and hot climate, especially in the summer. The mountains provide an abundant supply of melted snow for irrigation, which is very welcomed and it is brought into the region by the river. The topography is extreme with sandy soils with pebbles. Some vineyards are planted o 1500 m above sea level. Almost all the plantings of Catamarca are concentrated on the banks of the Abaucan River. There are two high-quality sub-regions including Fiambala and the more productive region of Tinogasta in the south of the region. The grapes which are predominantly grown are Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Syrah from the reds and Torrontés from the white varieties which is one of the most planted in Catamarca. The notorious fame of the region for mass-produced wines is already history, and now small and innovative producers are driving the Catamarca towards a new future.