The board of Robert Mondavi Corp has agreed to pay chairman Ted Hall a US$2.5m bonus. The move, and the size of the bonus, has surprised many in the US investment community.

Hall joined Mondavi's board a year ago and became chairman in January. In a filing to the SEC, the company said Hall is paid US$600,000 a year in the form of a $50,000 monthly retainer fee, plus a $400,000 bonus. The filing also revealed the size of the bonus.

Hall was one of the leading figures in a plan to re-invent Mondavi as a standard-end wine producer, which included plans to sell of its luxury-end wine division.

The plans were controversial and were eventually scrapped in favour of a takeover offer from rival Constellation Brands for the whole business.