(Information from: The Daily Progress, http://www.dailyprogress.com)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Officials say warmer temperatures and drier weather are bringing healthier grapes to Virginia.

The Daily Progress reports the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recently announced that the state’s grape production forecast for this year’s harvest is up 6 percent from the 2016 harvest. The increase comes as national yields are expected to have a 2 percent decrease in overall crop from last year.

Elaine Lidholm with the state’s Agriculture Department says that unlike the winter of 2016, this year featured a warmer winter and lower incidence of spring frost, which can wipe out pockets of vine acreage.

The warmer winter has also led to higher peach and apple production forecasts in Virginia, despite an expected national drop.