Lincoln is a town in the Niagara Peninsula. It is a mostly rural town, but also encompasses the towns of Beamsville and Vineland and other smaller communities. It is best known for its dozens of wineries. The district is known as Twenty Valley.
Lincoln's location between the southern shore of Lake Ontario and the Niagara Escarpment provides for a moderate climate with mild winters. The area is known in Canada for its orchards, vineyards, wineries and restaurants that feature local produce and wines. Fruit crops grown in Lincoln include cherries, peaches, apples and pears, and during the summer attract many tourists from all over Ontario, particularly Toronto.
The region is in the heart of Ontario's wine country and contributes greatly to the wine industry in the Niagara Peninsula. Wineries in Lincoln include Malivoire, Mike Weir Winery, Thomas and Vaughan, Thirty Bench, Angel's Gate, Peninsula Ridge, Cave Spring Cellars, Daniel Lenko Winery, Hidden Bench, Magnotta, Mountain Road Winery, Legends Estates, Crown Bench, Megalomaniac, Featherstone, Tawse, Vineland Estates and Corner Stone.
The township comprises the communities of Beamsville, Campden, Jordan, Jordan Station, Rockway, Tintern, Vineland and Vineland Station.
Lincoln's earliest known inhabitants were Neutral Indians. Archaeologists from the Royal Ontario Museum found evidence of a Neutral encampment with a long house about 2 km east of Beamsville, on Cave Springs Farm. Until vandals destroyed them about 30 years ago, there were a number of Indian faces carved in stone high on the Escarpment wall nearby.
The Neutrals were decimated by the Iroquois in 1653. When the first European settlers arrived in 1777, there were only a few semi-migrant native people living in the caves near Beamsville.
The earliest European settlers were ex-Butler's Rangers who had fought on the side of the Britain in the American Revolution. United Empire Loyalist Jacob Beam began what is now the town of Beamsville in 1788. Both of his homes - the original one on The Thirty (creek), and the one near downtown Beamsville - are still intact.
Mennonites (Pennsylvania Dutch) walking north from the United States in 1799 founded the villages of Jordan and Vineland. The First Mennonite Church in Vineland, adjacent to the cemetery at the corner of Regional Road 81 (former Highway 8) and Martin Road, organized in 1801, is the oldest Mennonite congregation in Canada.
Good hunting and fishing, and excellent soil and waterways attracted these early settlers. Agriculture flourished, and tanneries, grist mills, sawmills and woollen mills sprang up in Glen Elgin (now known as Ball's Falls), Tintern, St. Mary's, called Jordan after 1840, Rockway, The Thirty (now vanished) and Beamsville.
With a large natural harbour at the mouth of Twenty Creek, Jordan and Jordan Station became busy shipping centres for the export of logs for masts, tan bark, hides, ashes used in industrial centres for the manufacture of soap, as well as grain, flour, fruit and fruit products. A small ship building industry existed for a time on the banks of the Twenty.
It is off the QEW between Grimsby and St. Catharines, and is reached easily by taking the Ontario St. Beamsville exit (exit 64). Beamsville can also be reached via the old number 8 highway, a scenic drive that follows a traditional Native American trail and trade route. Beamsville is about an hour's drive from Toronto, and 30 minutes from Niagara Falls.
- Lincoln Transit (uLinc). uLinc operates 3 bus routes all of which converge at 2 Fleming Centre (Beamsville). Route 932 Beamsville North connects with GO Transit buses at Ontario Street and the QEW. Route 933 Vineland / Jordan operates between Beamsville and Jordan. Route 933 runs 3 round trips per day; the other two routes have 5 round trips per day. On some route segments, customers must wave to the driver to stop.
- Twenty Valley Magic Winery Bus, Jordan Village. July-September Friday-Sunday. Using a double-decker bus, a private company operates a hop-on, hop-off service visiting 4 wineries in the Twenty Valley area, allowing for a 1 hour stopover at each winery.
Beamsville is especially gorgeous in the fall as it is on the government-protected Niagara Escarpment. Renting a bike and taking a ride can be extremely rewarding and entertaining.
- 1 Lincoln Museum & Cultural Centre, 4996 Beam St, Beamsville (at Mountain St). Sep-Apr: M-F 8:30AM-4:30PM, Sa 1-4PM; May-Aug: M 8:30AM–4:30PM, Tu–Fr 10AM–5PM, Sa&Su 10AM-5PM. Before going, check the website as the museum is in a temporary location. $3 suggested donation.
- 1 Ball's Falls Conservation Area, 3292 Sixth Ave., Jordan (Victoria Avenue (Highway 24) south to Regional Road 24, turn east and travel to Ball's Falls), ☏ . Ball's Falls are very impressive in the spring when water levels are high, less so in late summer. Guided tours of the remains of the nearby 19th-century industrial hamlet are available in the summer, and the conservation area also features hiking with access to the Bruce trail, plus cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. $7 adult, $5 senior/student, max $21 per car.
- Buy some local wine to share with friends and family upon your return. The wineries listed below all have retail stores on-site and most are open year-round.
- You can also pick-your-own fruits at some of the farms in the area from about June to October. It's best to call first to see what's in season.
- 1 Life's a Peach Farm, 4435 Bartlett Rd, ☏ . Offers apples, cherries, grapes, pears, picked produce and uses organic farming methods. Cash only.
- 2 Cherry Lane, 4230 Victoria Ave, ☏ , toll-free: . M-F 8AM-5PM; Sa 8AM-4PM. Well known for their tart cherry juice concentrate with reputed health benefits. Also sell other fruit products.
- 3 Downtown Beamsville, King St (between Ontario & Hixon streets). The community of Beamsville has a very small downtown area (2 blocks long) lined with shops and restaurants along King Street.
- 4 Jordan Village, Main Street. The community of Jordan has a few retail outlets along its Main Street, which is mostly residential with a cute village look.
- 1 Inn on the Twenty Restaurant, 3845 Main Street, Jordan, ☏ , toll-free: . A contemporary restaurant heavily influenced by the surrounding Niagara wine region.
- 2 Jordan Pizza, 3720 19th Street, Jordan, ☏ . 3PM - 11PM daily. Specialty pizzas, gourmet subs, fresh made to order salads, chicken wings with their own sauce. All ingredients hand cut, seasoned and grilled on site.
- 3 Restaurant at Peninsula Ridge, 5600 King St W Beamsville, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. W-Sa noon-2:30PM, 5-9PM; Su 11:30AM-2:30PM. Seasonal menus of fresh, local foods paired with a selection of their wines. 65 seats. Outdoor patio also offers magnificent views of the Niagara Escarpment, the surrounding vineyards and Lake Ontario. It's in a red brick Victorian manor built in 1885 in the Queen Anne style. The house has been declared as an historic site under the Ontario Heritage Act for its historical and architectural significance. Dinner mains $25-42.
- 1 Butcher and Banker Pub, 4520 Ontario St, Beamsville (just off the QEW), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Claims to be the "best little British pub in Beamsville".
Wineries and breweries
Beamsville is in the heart of wine country and the "Beamsville Bench" appellation is home to some exceptional wineries that are well worth a visit. Many of Beamsville's wineries are smaller and less touristy than their well-known cousins around Niagara-on-the-Lake. Most offer tastings and have wine shops open year-round.
- 2 Angels Gate Winery, 4260 Mountainview Road, Beamsville, ☏ , toll-free: . June-Oct: M-Sa 10AM-5:30PM, Su 11AM-5:30PM; Nov-May: Su-F 11AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-5PM. Terrace Lunch open seasonally starting in June (reservations recommended). Retail store open daily. Tours by appointment only.
- 3 Bench Brewing, 3991 King Street, Beamsville, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 11am-9pm. Their slogan is "The Beer from Wine Country". Specialize in sours. Taproom, beer garden, kitchen, bottle shop (no growlers), and swag shop. Three acre hop field behind their building.
- 4 Daniel Lenko Wines, 5246 King Street West (#81 Highway), Beamsville, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Sa Su noon-5PM. Weekday tours and tastings by appointment. A good chance to experience a small producer (tastings take place in the family kitchen!).
- 5 Fielding Estate Winery, 2020 Locust Lane, Beamsville, ☏ , toll-free: . Family-run, and the lodge has a nice view over the vineyards. Tours daily at 10:30AM, 1:30PM and 3:30PM (May through October). $5 per person. Retail store open daily 10:30AM - 6PM (May to October), 10:30AM - 5:30PM (November to April). Ice wine available.
- 6 Legends Estate Winery, 4888 Ontario St N, Beamsville, ☏ . Open daily. Tours and tastings by appointment.
- 7 Malivoire Wine Company, 4260 King St E, Beamsville, ☏ . The tasting room is open M-F 10AM-6PM, Sa Su 11AM-6PM (May 19 - October 8, 2007), closing at 5PM outside these dates. Excellent Gamays and ice wines. Check for info on helping with the ice wine harvest.
- 8 Mountain Road Wine Company, 4016 Mountain Road, Beamsville, ☏ . Tasting bar and wine shop open M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su and holidays 11AM-5PM. Ice wine available.
- 9 Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery, 5600 King St W, Beamsville, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. On-site restaurant. Walking tour of the winemaking facilities, underground barrel cellar and vineyard daily at 11:30AM. $10. Retail hours daily, 10AM-6PM (June through October), 10AM-5PM (November through May).
- 10 Thirty Bench Vineyard and Winery, 4281 Mountainview Road, Beamsville, ☏ . Su-F 11AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-6PM. Known for their Rieslings. One-on-one custom tastings, daily tours of the vineyards, and yummy booze-filled chocolates.
- Many bed & breakfasts operate within and around Lincoln. They are generally cheaper than those found in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
- 1 Inn on the Twenty, 3845 Main Street, Jordan, ☏ , toll-free: . Large premium suites in Niagara's wine country.
Interesting places nearby include:
- Niagara Falls - for the Falls, of course
- Niagara-on-the-Lake - quaint, historic town with great little shops, restaurants, and (in the summer) the Shaw Theatre festival
- Toronto - Ontario's bustling and multicultural capital
|Routes through Lincoln|
|Hamilton ← Grimsby ←||W E||→ St. Catharines → Niagara Falls|
|Hamilton ← Grimsby ←||W E||→ St. Catharines → Niagara-on-the-Lake|