While Malbec originated in the Bordeaux region of France, it did not flourish there. Susceptible to pests and fungal diseases, it was progressively planted less and less and typically only used in blends. Once transplanted to Argentina in the 1800s, the vines thrived in the dry, high elevations and quickly became the country's most important grape. Lower altitude grapes tend to be thinner-skinned and used for blends and mass-produced wines, while high altitude grapes are thick-skinned and intense. Malbec ripens midway through the growing season, with harvest varying depending on the location.Malbec grapes are used in a variety of red wine blends, often pairing with merlot, tannat, and cabernet sauvignon. It's one of the six wines allowed in a Bordeaux blend and is used to make a Cahors blend.