Gabriel Viti, an F&W Best New Chef 1991, is a man of many talents. He's not only the chef and owner of Gabriel's Restaurant (and the upcoming Miramar wine bar) in Highwood, Illinois, but a designer of custom wine cellars as well. He recently built a 2,022-bottle room for a client and offers these tips.
1 Use the highest quality wood for racks—preferably heart redwood, which won't warp from humidity and doesn't need staining ($30 for a 32-bottle rack from International Wine Accessories; 800-527-4072).
2 Allow for air flow around bottles to help keep a uniform temperature. Racks with open sides are ideal.